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Litrary    Edition 

THE  WIT  AND  HUMOR 
OF  AMERICA 

In  Ten  V olumes 
VOL.  I 


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MARSHALL    P.     WILDER 


Drawing  from  photo  by  Marceau 


THE 

WIT  AND  HUMOR 

OF  AMERICA 


EDITED  BY 

MARSHALL  P.  WILDER 


1 

Volume  I 


Funk  &  Wagnalls  Company 

New  York  and  London 


Copyright  MDCCCCVII,  BOBBS-MERRILL  COMPANY 


Copyright  MDCCCCXI,  THE  THWING  COMPANY 


CONTENTS 


PAGE 

Anatole  Dubois  at  de  Horse  Show... Wallace  Bruce  Amsbary  152 

Billville  Spirit  Meeting,  The Frank  L.  Stanton   188 

British  Matron,  The Nathaniel  Hawthorne  192 

Champion  Checker-Player  of  Ameriky,  The 

James  Whitcomb  Riley  156 

Colonel  Sterett's  Panther  Hunt Alfred  Henry  Lewis     98 

Cry  from  the  Consumer,  A Wilbur  D.  Nesbit  190 

Curse  of  the  Competent,  The Henry  J.  Finn     14 

Darby  and  Joan St.  John  Honeywood   166 

Day  We  Do  Not  Celebrate,  The Robert  J.  Burdette  134 

Deacon's  Masterpiece,  The;  or,  The  Wonderful  "One-Hoss 

Shay  " O.  W.  Holmes       9 

Deacon's  Trout,  The Henry  Ward  Beecher  212 

Disappointment,  A John  Boyle  O'Reilly  191 

Distichs John  Hay     65 

Down  Around  the  River James  Whitcomb  Riley     29 

Enough Tom  Masson  2 1 3 

Experiences  of  the  A.  C,  The Bayard  Taylor  116 

Feast  of  the  Monkeys,  The John  Philip  Sousa   183 

Fighting  Race,  The Joseph  I.  C.  Clarke  214 

Grammatical  Boy,  The Bill  Nye     16 

Grizzly-Gru. Ironquill   174 

John  Henry  in  a  Street  Car Hugh  McHugh   177 

Laffing Josh  Billings   171 

Letter  from  Mr.  Biggs,  A E.  W.  Howe     69 

Medieval  Discoverer,  A Bill  Nye     3 1 

Melons Bret  Harte       i 

Menagerie,  The William  Vaughn  Moody     24 

Mrs.  Johnson William  Dean  Howells     74 

Muskeeter,  The Josh  Billings  181 

My  Grandmother's  Turkey-Tail  Fan.  .  Samuel  Minturn  Peck  219 

Myopia Wallace  Rice  1 5 1 

Odyssey  of  K's,  An Wilbur  D.  Nesbit  209 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Old  Maid's  House,  The:  In  Plan Elizabeth  Stuart  Phelps     60 

Organ,  The Henry  Ward  Beecher  217 

Partingtonian  Patchwork B.  P.  Shillaber     20 

Pass Ironquill     91 

Pettibone  Lineage,  The James  T.  Fields  196 

Psalm  of  Life,  A Phoebe  Cary  207 

Purple  Cow,  The Gelett  Burgess     13 

Quarrel,  The S.  E.  Riser     68 

Similar  Cases Charlotte  Perkins  Oilman     56 

Simple  English Ray  Clarke  Rose     19 

Spelling  Down  the  Master Edward  Eggleston  138 

Stage  Whispers Carolyn  Wells  195 

Teaching  by  Example John  G.  Saxe     91 

Tragedy  of  It,  The Alden  Charles  Noble  194 

Turnings  of  a  Bookworm,  The Carolyn  Wells  182 

Wanted — A  Cook Alan  Dale     35 

What  Mr.  Robinson  Thinks James  Russell  Lowell  131 

When  Albani  Sang William  Henry  Drummond     92 

When  the  Frost  is  on  the  Punkin. . .   James  Whitcomb  Riley  169 

Why  Moles  Have  Hands Anne  Virginia  Culbertson  202 

Wouter  Van  Twiller Washington  Irving  109 

Yankee  Dude'll  Do,  The S.  E.  Riser  136 

COMPLETE  INDEX  AT  END  OF  VOLUME  X. 


FOREWORD- 

Embodying  a  Few  Remarks  on  the  Gentle  Art  of  Laugh-Making. 

by 
Marshall  P.  Wilder. 


Happiness  and  laughter  are  two  of  the  most  beautiful 
things  in  the  world,  for  they  are  of  the  few  that  are 
purely  unselfish.  Laughter  is  not  for  yourself,  but  for 
others.  When  people  are  happy  they  present  a  cheer- 
ful spirit,  which  finds  its  reflection  in  every  one  they 
meet,  for  happiness  is  as  contagious  as  a  yawn.  Of  all 
the  emotions,  laughter  is  the  most  versatile,  for  it  plays 
equally  well  the  role  of  either  parent  or  child  to  happi- 
ness. 

Then  can  we  say  too  much  in  praise  of  the  men  who 
make  us  laugh?  God  never  gave  a  man  a  greater  gift 
than  the  power  to  make  others  laugh,  unless  it  is  the 
privilege  of  laughing  himself.  We  honor,  revere,  ad- 
mire our  great  soldiers,  statesmen,  and  men  of  letters, 
but  we  love  the  man  who  makes  us  laugh. 

No  other  man  to-day  enjoys  to  such  an  extent  the 
close  personal  affection,  individual  yet  national,  that  is 
given  to  Mr.  Samuel  L.  Clemens.  He  is  ours,  he  is  one 
of  us,  we  have  a  personal  pride   in   him — dear  "Mark 

i 


FOREWORD 

Twain, "the  beloved  child  of  the  American  nation.  And 
it  was  through  our  laughter  that  he  won  our  love. 

He  is  the  exponent  of  the  typically  American  style  of 
fun-making,  the  humorous  story.  I  asked  Mr.  Clemens 
one  day  if  he  could  remember  the  first  money  he  ever 
earned.      With  his  inimitable  drawl  he  said : 

''Yes,  Marsh,  it  was  at  school.  All  boys  had  the 
habit  of  going  to  school  in  those  days,  and  they  hadn't 
any  more  respect  for  the  desks  than  they  had  for  the 
teachers.  There  was  a  rule  in  our  school  that  any  boy 
marring  his  desk,  either  with  pencil  or  knife,  would  be 
chastised  publicly  before  the  whole  school,  or  pay  a  fine 
of  five  dollars.  Besides  the  rule,  there  was  a  ruler;  I 
knew  it  because  I  had  felt  it ;  it  was  a  darned  hard  one, 
too.  One  day  I  had  to  tell  my  father  that  I  had  broken 
the  rule,  and  had  to  pay  a  fine  or  take  a  public  whip- 
ping ;  and  he  said  : 

"'Sam,  it  would  be  too  bad  to  have  the  name  of 
Clemens  disgraced  before  the  whole  school,  so  I'll  pay 
the  fine.  But  I  don't  want  you  to  lose  anything,  so 
come  upstairs.' 

"  I  went  upstairs  with  father,  and  he  was  for -giving 
me.  I  came  downstairs  with  the  feeling  in  one  hand 
and  the  five  dollars  in  the  other,  and  decided  that  as  I'd 
been  punished  once,  and  got  used  to  it,  I  wouldn't  mind 
taking  the  other  licking  at  school.  So  I  did,  and  I  kept 
the  five  dollars.  That  was  the  first  money  I  ever 
earned." 

The  humorous  story  as  expounded  by  Mark  Twain, 
Artemus  Ward,  and  Robert  J.  Burdette,  is  purely 
American.  Artemus  Ward  could  get  laughs  out  of  noth- 
ing, by  mixing  the  absurd  and  the  unexpected,  and  then 
backing  the  combination  with  a  solemn  face  and  earnest 
manner.      For  instance,  he  was  fond  of  such  incongruous 

ii 


FOREWORD 

statements  as:  "I  once  knew  a  man  in  New  Zealand 
who  hadn't  a  tooth  in  his  head,"  here  he  would  pause 
for  some  time,  look  reminiscent,  and  continue:  "and 
yet  he  could  beat  a  base-drum  better  than  any  man  I 
ever  knew." 

Robert  J.  Burdette,  who  wrote  columns  of  capital 
humor  for  The  Burlington  Hawkeye  and  told  stories  su- 
perbly, on  his  first  visit  to  New  York  was  spirited  to  a 
notable  club,  where  he  told  stories  leisurely  until  half  the 
hearers  ached  with  laughter,  and  the  other  half  were 
threatened  with  apoplexy.  Everyone  present  declared 
it  the  red-letter  night  of  the  club,  and  members  who  had 
missed  it  came  around  and  demanded  the  stories  at 
second  hand.  Some  efforts  were  made  to  oblige  them, 
but  without  avail,  for  the  tellers  had  twisted  their  recol- 
lections of  the  stories  into  jokes,  and  they  didn't  sound 
right,  so  a  committee  hunted  the  town  for  Burdette  to 
help  them  out  of  their  difficulty. 

Humor  is  the  kindliest  method  of  laugh-making.  Wit 
and  satire  are  ancient,  but  humor,  it  has  been  claimed, 
belongs  to  modern  times.  A  certain  type  of  story,  hav- 
ing a  sudden  and  terse  conclusion  to  a  direct  statement, 
has  been  labeled  purely  American.  For  instance:  "Wil- 
lie Jones  loaded  and  fired  a  cannon  yesterday.  The 
funeral  will  be  to-morrow."  But  the  truth  is,  it  is  older 
than  America;  it  is  very  venerable.  If  you  will  turn  to 
the  twelfth  verse  of  the  sixteenth  chapter  of  II.  Chroni- 
cles, you  will  read  : 

"And  Asa  in  the  thirty-ninth  year  of  his  reign  was 
diseased  in  his  feet,  until  his  disease  was  exceeding 
great;  yet  in  his  disease  he  sought  not  the  Lord,  but 
turned  to  the  physicians — and  Asa  slept  with  his 
fathers." 

Bill  Nye  was  a  sturdy  and  persistent  humorist  of  so 

iii 


FOREWORD 

good  a  sort  that  he  never  could  help  being  humorous, 
yet  there  was  never  a  sting  in  his  jokes.  Gentle  raillery 
was  the  severest  thing  he  ever  attempted,  and  even  this 
he  did  with  so  genial  a  smile  and  so  merry  an  eye,  that 
a  word  of  his  friendly  chaffing  was  worth  more  than  any 
amount  of  formal  praise. 

Few  of  the  great  world's  great  despatches  contained 
so  much  wisdom  in  so  few  words  as  Nye's  historic  wire 
from  Washington : 

"  My  friends  and  money  gave  out  at  3  A.M." 

Eugene  Field,  the  lover  of  little  children,  and  the 
self-confessed  bibliomaniac,  gives  us  still  another  sort  of 
laugh — the  tender,  indulgent  sort.  Nothing  could  be 
finer  than  the  gentle  reminiscence  of  "  Long  Ago,"  a 
picture  of  the  lost  kingdom  of  boyhood,  which  for  all 
its  lightness  holds  a  pathos  that  clutches  one  in  the 
throat. 

And  yet  this  writer  of  delicate  and  subtle  humor,  this 
master  of  tender  verse,  had  a  keen  and  nimble  wit.  An 
ambitious  poet  once  sent  him  a  poem  to  read  entitled 
"Why  do  I  live  ?"  and  Field  immediately  wrote  back: 
"  Because  you  sent  your  poem  by  mail." 

Laughter  is  one  of  the  best  medicines  in  the  world, 
and  though  some  people  would  make  you  force  it  down 
with  a  spoon,  there  is  no  doubt  that  it  is  a  splendid 
tonic  and  awakens  the  appetite  for  happiness. 

Colonel  Ingersoll  wrote  on  his  photograph  which 
adorns  my  home  :  "To  the  man  who  knows  that  mirth 
is  medicine  and  laughter  lengthens  life." 

Abraham  Lincoln,  that  divinely  tender  man,  believed 
that  fun  was  an  intellectual  impetus,  for  he  read  Artemus 
Ward  to  his  Cabinet  before  reading  his  famous  emancipa- 
tion proclamation,  and  laying  down  his  book  marked  the 
place  to  resume. 

iv 


FOREWORD 

Joel  Chanler  Harris,  whose  delightful  stories  of  negro 
life  hold  such  a  high  place  in  American  literature,  told 
me  a  story  of  an  old  negro  who  claimed  that  a  sense  of 
humor  was  necessary  to  happiness  in  married  life.  He 
said: 

"  I  met  a  poor  old  darkey  one  day,  pushing  a  wheel- 
barrow loaded  with  cooking  utensils  and  household  ef- 
fects. Seeing  me  looking  curiously  at  him,  he  shook  his 
head  and  said : 

1 '  4 1  cain't  stand  her  no  longer,  boss,  I  jes'  nash'ully 
cain't  stand  her  no  longer.' 

"  *  What's  the  matter,  uncle?  *  I  inquired. 

lt  *  Well,  you  see,  suh,  she  ain't  got  no  idee  o*  fun — 
she  won't  take  a  joke  nohow.  The  other  night  I  went 
home,  an'  I  been  takin'  a  little  jes'  to  waam  ma  heart — 
das  all,  jes  to  waam  ma  heart — an'  I  got  to  de  fence,  an* 
tried  to  climb  it.  I  got  on  de  top,  an'  thar  I  stays ;  I 
couldn't  git  one  way  or  t'other.  Then  a  gem'en  comes 
along,an'  I  says,  * '  Would  you  min'  givin'  me  a  push  ?"  He 
says, i  l  Which  way  you  want  to  go  ?"  I  says, '  '  Either  way — 
don't  make  no  difunce,  jes'  so  I  git  off  de  fence,  for  hit's 
pow'ful  oncom'fable  up  yer."  So  he  give  me  a  push,  an' 
sont  me  over  to'ard  ma  side,  an'  I  went  home, 
lhen  I  want  sum'in  t'  eat,  an'  my  ol'  'ooman  she 
wouldn'  git  it  fo'  me,  an'  so,  jes'  fo'  a  joke,  das  all — jes' 
a  joke,  I  hit  'er  awn  de  haid.  But  would  you  believe  it, 
she  couldn't  take  a  joke.  She  tu'n  aroun',  an'  sir,  she 
sail  inter  me  sum'in'  scan'lous !  I  didn'  do  nothin',  'cause  I 
feelin'  kind  o'  weak  jes'  then : —  an'  so  I  made  up  ma  min' 
I  wasn'  goin'  to  stay  with  her.  Dis  mawnin'  she  gone 
out  washin',  an'  I  jes'  move  right  out.  Hit's  no  use  tryin' 
to  live  with  a  'ooman  who  cain't  take  a  joke !  '  " 

From  the  poems  of  Thomas  Bailey  Aldrich  to  George 
Ade's  Fables  in  Slang  is  a  far  cry,  but  one  is  as  typical 


FOREWORD 

a  style  of  humor  as  the  other.  Ade's  is  the  more  dis- 
tinctly original,  for  he  not  only  created  the  style,  but 
another  language.  The  aptness  of  its  turns,  and  the 
marvelous  way  in  which  he  hit  the  bull's-eye  of  human 
foibles  and  weaknesses  lifted  him  into  instantaneous  popu- 
larity. A  famous  bon  mot  of  George  Ade's  which  has 
been  quoted  threadbare,  but  which  serves  excellently  to 
illustrate  his  native  wit,  is  his  remark  about  a  suit  of 
clothes  which  the  tailor  assured  him  he  could  never  wear 
out.     He  said  when  he  put  them  on  he  didn't  dare  to. 

From  the  laughter-makers  pure  and  simple,  we  come 
to  those  who,  while  acknowledging  the  cloud,  yet  see  the 
silver  lining — the  exponents  of  the  smile  through  tears. 

The  best  of  these,  Frank  L.  Stanton,  has  beautifully 

said : 

''This  world  that  we're  a-livin'  in 
Is  mighty  hard  to  beat ; 
With  every  rose  you  get  a  thorn, 
But  ain't  the  roses  sweet  ?  " 

He  does  not  deny  the  thorns,  but  calls  attention  to  the 
sweetness  of  the  roses — a  gospel  of  compensation  that 
speaks  to  the  heart  of  all;  kind  words  of  cheer  to  the 
weary  traveler. 

Such  a  philosopher  was  the  kind-hearted  and  sympa- 
thetic Irish  boy  who,  walking  along  with  the  parish 
priest,  met  a  weary  organ-grinder,  who  asked  how  far  it 
was  to  the  next  town.  The  boy  answered,  "  Four  miles." 
The  priest  remonstrated  :  -| 

Why,  Mike,  how  can  you  deceive  him  so?  You  know 
it  is  eight." 

"Well,  your  riverence,"  said  the  good-natured  fel- 
low, "  I  saw  how  tired  he  was,  and  I  wanted  to  kape  his 
courage  up.      If  I'd  told  him  the  truth,  he'd  have  been 

down-hearted  intirely!" 

vi 


FOREWORD 

This  is  really  a  jolly  old  world,  and  people  are  very 
apt  to  find  just  what  they  are  looking  for.  If  they  are 
looking  for  happiness,  the  best  way  to  find  it  is  to  try 
to  give  it  to  others.  If  a  man  goes  around  with  a 
face  as  long  as  a  wet  day,  perfectly  certain  that  he  is 
going  to  be  kicked,  he  is  seldom  disappointed. 

A  typical  exponent  of  the  tenderly  human,  the  tear- 
fully humorous,  is  James  Whitcomb  Riley —  a  name  to 
conjure  with.  Only  mention  it  to  anyone,  and  note  the 
spark  of  interest,  the  smiling  sigh,  the  air  of  gentle  ret- 
rospection into  which  he  will  fall.  There  is  a  poem  for 
each  and  every  one,  that  commends  itself  for  some  spe- 
cial reason,  and  holds  such  power  of  memory  or  senti- 
ment as  sends  it  straight  into  the  heart,  to  remain  there 
treasured  and  unforgotten. 

In  these  volumes  are  selections  from  the  pen  of  all 
whom  I  have  mentioned,  as  well  as  many  more,  includ- 
ing a  number  by  the  clever  women  humorists,  of  whom 
America  is  justly  proud. 

It  is  with  pride  and  pleasure  that  I  acknowledge  the 
honor  done  me  in  being  asked  to  introduce  this  company 
of  fun-makers  —  such  a  goodly  number  that  space  per- 
mits the  mention  of  but  a  few.  But  we  cannot  have  too 
much  or  even  enough  of  anything  so  good  or  so  neces- 
sary as  the  literature  that  makes  us  laugh.  In  that  re- 
gard we  are  like  a  little  friend  of  Mr.  Riley's. 

The  Hoosier  poet,  as  everyone  knows,  is  the  devoted 
friend,  companion,  and  singer  of  children.  He  has  a 
habit  of  taking  them  on  wild  orgies  where  they  are  turned 
loose  in  a  candy  store  and  told  to  do  their  worst.  This 
particular  young  lady  had  been  allowed  to  choose  all  the 
sorts  of  candy  she  liked  until  her  mouth,  both  arms,  and 
her  pockets  were  full.  Just  as  they  got  to  the  door  to 
go  out,   she  hung  back,  and  when  Mr.   Riley  stooped 

vii 


FOREWORD 

over  asking  her  what  was  the  matter,  she  whispered : 
"  Don't  you  think  it  smells  like  ice  cream?  " 
Poems,  stories,  humorous  articles,  fables,  and  fairy 
tales  are  offered  for  your  choice,  with  subjects  as  diverse 
as  the  styles ;  but  however  the  laugh  is  gained,  in  what- 
ever fashion  the  jest  is  delivered,  the  laugh-maker  is  a 
public  benefactor,  for  laughter  is  the  salt  of  life,  and 
keeps  the  whole  dish  sweet. 

Merrily  yours, 
Marshall  P.  Wilder. 
Atlantic  City,  1908. 


Vlll 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 


Acknowledgment  is  due  to  the  following  publishers, 
whose  permission  was  cordially  granted  to  reprint  selec- 
tions which  appear  in  this  collection  of  American  humor. 

Ainslee's  Magazine  for  "Not  According  to  Sched- 
ule," by  Mary  Stewart  Cutting. 

The  Henry  Altemus  Company  for  "The  New 
Version,"  by  William  J.  Lampton. 

The  American  Publishing  Company  for  "How  We 
Bought  a  Sewin'  Machine  and  Organ,"  from  Josiah  Al- 
len's Wife  as  a  P.  A.  and  P.  L,  by  Marietta  Holley. 

D.  Appleton  &  Company  for  "The  Recruit,"  from 
With  the  Band,  by  Robert  W.  Chambers. 

E.  H.  Bacon  &  Company  for  "The  V-a-s-e"  and  "A 
Concord  Love-Song,"  from  The  V-a-s-e  and  Other  Bric- 
a-Brac,  by  James  Jeffrey  Roche. 

The  H.  M.  Caldwell  Company  for  "Yes"  and  "Dis- 
appointment," from  In  Bohemia,  by  John  Boyle  O'Reilly. 

The  Colver  Publishing  House  for  "The  Crimson 
Cord,"  by  Ellis  Parker  Butler,  and  "A  Ballade  of  the 
'How  to'  Books,"  by  John  James  Davies,  from  The  Amer- 
ican Illustrated  Magazine. 

The  Crowell  Publishing  Company  for  "Familiar 
Authors  at  Work,"  by  Hayden  Carruth,  from  The  Wom- 
an's Home  Companion. 

The  Curtis  Publishing  Company  for  "The  Love 
Sonnets  of  a  Husband,"  by  Maurice  Smiley,  and  "Cheer 
for  the  Consumer,"  by  Nixon  Waterman,  from  The  Sat- 
urday Evening  Post. 

Vol.   1-2  1X 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

DeWolfe,  Fiske  &  Company  for  "Grandma  Keeler 
Gets  Grandpa  Ready  for  Sunday-School,"  from  Cape  Cod 
Folks,  by  Sarah  P.  McLean  Greene. 

Dick  &  Fitzgerald  for  "The  Thompson  Street  Poker 
Club,"  from  The  Thompson  Street  Poker  Club,  by  Henry 
Guy  Carleton. 

G.  W.  Dillingham  Company  for  "The  Tower  of 
London"  and  "Science  and  Natural  History,"  by  Charles 
Farrar  Browne  ("Artemus  Ward")  ;  "The  Muskeeter," 
from  Farmer's  Alminax,  and  "Laffing,"  from  Josh  Bil- 
lings: His  Works,  by  Henry  W.  Shaw  ("Josh  Billings")  ; 
and  for  "John  Henry  in  a  Street  Car,"  from  John  Henry, 
by  George  V.  Hobart  ("Hugh  McHugh"). 

Dodd,  Mead  &  Company  for  "The  Rhyme  of  the  Chiv- 
alrous Shark,"  "The  Forbearance  of  the  Admiral,"  "The 
Dutiful  Mariner,"  "The  Meditations  of  a  Mariner"  and 
"The  Boat  that  Ain't,"  from  Nautical  Lays  of  a  Lands- 
man, by  Wallace  Irwin. 

The  Duquesne  Distributing  Company  for  "The 
Grand  Opera,"  from  Billy  Baxter's  Letters,  by  William 
J.  Kountz,  Jr. 

Paul  Elder  &  Company  for  Sonnets  I,  VIII,  IX,  XII, 
XIV,  XXI,  from  The  Love  Sonnets  of  a  Hoodlum,  by 
Wallace  Irwin. 

Everybody's  Magazine  for  "The  Strike  of  One,"  by 
Elliott  Flower;  "The  Wolfs  Holiday,"  by  Caroline 
Duer ;  "A  Mother  of  Four,"  by  Juliet  Wilbor  Tompkins ; 
"The  Weddin',"  by  Jennie  Betts  Hartswick,  and  "A 
Double-Dyed  Deceiver,"  by  Sydney  Porter  ("O. 
Henry"). 

The  Federal  Book  Company  for  "Budge  and  Tod- 
die,"  from  Helen's  Babies,  by  John  Habberton. 

Fords,  Howard  &  Hurlburt,  for  "The  Deacon's 
Trout,"  from  Norwood,  by  Henry  Ward  Beecher. 

x 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Fox,  Duffield  &  Company  for  "The  Paintermine," 
"The  Octopussycat,"  "The  Welsh  Rabbittern,"  "The 
Bumblebeaver,"  "The  Wild  Boarder,"  from  Mixed 
Beasts,  by  Kenyon  Cox;  "The  Lost  Inventor,"  "Niagara 
Be  Dammed/'  "The  Ballad  of  Grizzly  Gulch,"  "A  Letter 
from  Home,"  "Crankidoxology"  and  "Fall  Styles  in 
Faces,"  from  At  the  Sign  of  the  Dollar,  by  Wallace  Ir- 
win, and  a  selection  from  The  Golfer's  Rubaiyat,  by 
Henry  W.  Boynton. 

The  Harvard  Lampoon  for  "A  Lay  of  Ancient 
Rome,"  by  Thomas  Ybarra. 

Henry  Holt  &  Company  for  "Araminta  and  the 
Automobile,"  from  Cheerful  Americans,  by  Charles  Bat- 
tell  Loomis. 

Houghton,  Mifflin  &  Company  for  "A  Letter  from 
Mr.  Biggs,"  from  The  Story  of  a  Country  Town,  by  E. 
W.  Howe ;  "The  Notary  of  Perigueux,"  from  Outre-Mer, 
by  Henry  Wadsworth  Longfellow;  "A  Nautical  Ballad," 
from  Davy  and  the  Goblin,  by  Charles  E.  Carryl;  "The 
Spring  Beauties,"  from  The  Ride  to  the  Lady,  by  Helen 
Avery  Cone;  "Praise-God  Barebones,"  from  Songs  and 
Lyrics,  by  Ellen  M.  Hutchinson-Cortissoz ;  "Fable,"  from 
Poems,  by  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson;  "The  Owl  Critic" 
and  "Caesar's  Quiet  Lunch  with  Cicero,"  from  Ballads 
and  Other  Poems,  by  James  T.  Fields ;  "The  Menagerie," 
from  Poems,  by  William  Vaughn  Moody;  "The  Brief- 
less Barrister,"  "Comic  Miseries,"  "A  Reflective  Retro- 
spect," "How  the  Money  Goes,"  "The  Coquette," 
"Icarus,"  "Teaching  by  Example,"  from  Poems,  by  John 
Godfrey  Saxe;  "My  Honey,  My  Love,"  by  Joel  Chandler 
Harris;  "Banty  Tim,"  "The  Mystery  of  Gilgal"  and 
"Distichs,"  from  Poems,  by  John  Hay;  "The  Deacon's 
Masterpiece,  or  The  Wonderful  One  Hoss  Shay,"  "The 
Height  of  the  Ridiculous,"  "Evening,  By  a  Tailor,"  "Lat- 

xi 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

ter  Day  Warnings,''  and  "Contentment,"  from  Poems,  by 
Oliver  Wendell  Holmes;  two  selections  from  The  Auto- 
crat of  the  Breakfast  Table,  by  Oliver  Wendell  Holmes, 
and  "Dislikes,"^  from  The  Poet  at  the  Breakfast  Table, 
by  Oliver  Wendell  Holmes;  "Plain  Language  from 
Truthful  James,"  and  "The  Society  Upon  the  Stanislaus," 
from  Poems,  by  Bret  Harte;  "Melons,"  from  Mrs. 
Skaggs'  Husbands  and  Other  Sketches,  by  Bret  Harte; 
"The  Courtin',"  "A  Letter  from  Mr.  Ezekiel  Biglow" 
and  "What  Mr.  Robinson  Thinks,"  from  Poems,  by  James 
Russell  Lowell ;  "The  Chief  Mate,"  from  Fireside  Travels, 
by  James  Russell  Lowell ;  "A  Night  in  a  Rocking  Chair" 
and  "A  Rival  Entertainment,"  from  Haphazard,  by  Kate 
Field ;  "Mrs.  Johnson,"  from  Suburban  Sketches,  by  Wil- 
liam Dean  Howells;  "Garden  Ethics,"  from  My  Summer 
in  a  Garden,  by  Charles  Dudley  Warner;  "Our  Nearest 
Neighbor,"  from  Marjorie  Daw  and  Other  Stories,  by 
Thomas  Bailey  Aldrich;  "Simon  Starts  in  the  World" 
(J.  J.  Hooper),  "The  Duluth  Speech"  (J.  Proctor 
Knott),  "Bill  Arp  on  Litigation"  (C.  H.  Smith),  "As- 
sault and  Battery"  (J.  G.  Baldwin),  "How  Ruby  Played" 
(G.  W.  Bagby),  from  Oddities  of  Southern  Life,  edited 
by  Henry  Watterson;  "The  Demon  of  the  Study,"  from 
Poems,  by  John  Greenleaf  Whittier;  "The  Old  Maid's 
House:  in  Plan,"  from  An  Old  Maid's  Paradise,  by  Eliza- 
beth Stuart  Phelps;  "Dum  Vivimus  Vigilamus,"  "What 
She  Said  About  It,"  "Dictum  Sapienti,"  "The  Lost 
Word"  and  "Abou  Ben  Butler,"  from  Poems,  by  Charles 
Henry  Webb  ("John  Paul")  ;  "Chad's  Story  of  the  Goose" 
and  "Colonel  Carter's  Story  of  the  Postmaster,"  from 
Colonel  Carter  of  Cartersville,  by  F.  Hopkinson  Smith ; 
"The  British  Matron,"  from  Our  Old  Home,  by  Nathaniel 
Hawthorne;  "As  Good  as  a  Play,"  from  Stories  from  My 
'Attic,  by  Horace  E.  Scudder;  "The  Pettibone  Lineage," 

xii 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

by  James  T.  Fields;  "The  Experiences  of  the  A.  C,"  by 
Bayard  Taylor;  "Eve's  Daughter,"  by  Edward  Rowland 
Sill,  and  "The  Diamond  Wedding,"  by  Edmund  Clarence 
Stedman. 

William  R.  Jenkins  for  "It  Is  Time  to  Begin  to 
Conclude,"  from  Soldier  Songs  and  Love  Songs,  by  Al- 
exander H.  Laidlaw. 

John  Lane  Company  for  "The  Invisible  Prince," 
from  Comedies  and  Errors,  by  Henry  Harland. 

Life  Publishing  Company  for  "Hard,"  "Enough" 
and  "Desolation,"  from  In  Merry  Measure,  by  Tom  Mas- 
son;  "A  Branch  Library"  and  "Table  Manners/'  from 
Tomfoolery,  by  James  Montgomery  Flagg ;  "The  Sonnet 
of  the  Lovable  Lass  and  the  Plethoric  Dad,"  by  J.  W. 
Foley;  "Thoughts  for  an  Easter  Morning,"  by  Wallace 
Irwin;  "Suppressed  Chapters,"  by  Carolyn  Wells;  "The 
Conscientious  Curate  and  the  Beauteous  Ballad  Girl,"  by 
William  Russell  Rose,  and  "A  Poe-'em  of  Passion,"  by 
Charles  F.  Lummis. 

Lippincott's  Magazine  for  "The  Modern  Farmer," 
by  Jack  Appleton ;  "The  Wicked  Zebra"  and  "The  Happy 
Land,"  by  Frank  Roe  Batchelder;  "A  Mothers'  Meet- 
ing," by  Madeline  Bridges;  "The  Final  Choice"  and  "A 
Daniel  Come  to  Judgment,"  by  Edmund  Vance  Cooke; 
"The  Co-operative  Housekeepers"  and  "Her  'Angel'  Fa- 
ther," by  Elliott  Flower;  "Wasted  Opportunities,"  by 
Roy  Farrell  Greene;  "The  Auto  Rubaiyat,"  by  Reginald 
W.  Kauffman;  "It  Pays  to  be  Happy"  and  "Victory," 
by  Tom  Masson;  "Is  It  I?"  by  Warwick  S.  Price;  "John- 
ny's Lessons,"  by  Carroll  Watson  Rankin ;  "Her  Brother : 
Enfant  Terrible"  and  "Trouble-Proof,"  by  E.  L.  Sabin ; 
"A  Bookworm's  Plaint,"  by  Clinton  Scollard;  "Nothin' 
Done,"  by  S.  S.  Stinson,  and  "Uncle  Bentley  and  the 
Roosters,"  by  Hayden  Carruth. 

xiii 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Little,  Brown  &  Company  for  "Elizabeth  Eliza 
Writes  a  Paper,"  from  The  Peterkin  Papers,  by  Lucretia 
P.  Hale;  "The  Skeleton  in  the  Closet/'  by  Edward  Ever- 
ett Hale,  and  "The  Wolf  at  Susan's  Door,"  from  The 
Wolf  at  Susan's  Door  and  Mrs.  Lathrop's  Love  Affair,  by 
Anne  Warner. 

Lothrop,  Lee  &  Shepard  for  "A  Letter,"  from 
Swingin'  Round  the  Circle,  by  David  Ross  Locke  ("P. 
V.  Nasby")  ;  "A  Cable  Car  Preacher"  and  "The  Prayer 
of  Cyrus  Brown,"  from  Dreams  in  Homespun,  by  Sam 
Walter  Foss;  "He  Wanted  to  Know,"  "Hullo!"  and  "She 
Talked,"  from  Back  Country  Poems,  by  Sam  Walter 
Foss;  "Mr.  Stiver's  Horse"  and  "After  the  Funeral," 
from  the  works  of  James  M.  Bailey  (The  Danbury  News 
Man)  ;  "Yawcob  Strauss/'  "Der  Oak  und  der  Vine,"  "To 
Bary  Jade"  and  "Shonny  Schwartz,"  from  Leetle  Yaw- 
cob  Strauss,  by  Charles  Follen  Adams;  "The  Coupon 
Bonds"  and  "Darius  Greene,"  from  the  works  of  J.  T. 
Trowbridge,  and  Chapters  VII,  IX,  XVI,  XX,  XXI, 
from  "Partingtonian  Patchwork,"  by  B.  P.  Shillaber. 

The  S.  S.  McClure  Company  and  McClure,  Phil- 
lips &  Company  for  "Morris  and  the  Honorable  Tim," 
from  Little  Citizens,  by  Myra  Kelly. 

A.  C.  McClurg  &  Company  for  "Simple  English," 
from  At  the  Sign  of  the  Ginger  Jar,  by  Ray  Clarke  Rose, 
and  "Ye  Legende  of  Sir  Yroncladde,"  by  Wilbur  D.  Nes- 
bit,  from  The  Athlete's  Garland. 

David  McKay  for  "Hans  Breitmann's  Party,"  "Breit- 
mann  and  the  Turners,"  "Ballad,"  "Breitmann  in  Poli- 
tics" and  "Love  Song,"  from  Hans  Breitmann's  Ballads, 
by  Charles  Godfrey  Leland,  and  "A  Boston  Ballad," 
from  Leaves  of  Grass,  by  Walt  Whitman. 

The  Macmillan  Company  for  "In  a  State  of  Sin," 
from  The  Virginian,  by  Owen  Wister. 

xiv 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

The  Monarch  Book  Company  for  "The  Apostasy 
of  William  Dodge/'  from  The  Seekers,  by  Stanley  Wa- 
terloo. 

The  Frank  A.  Munsey  Company  for  "An  Educa- 
tional Project"  and  "The  Woman-Hater  Reformed,"  by 
Roy  Farrell  Greene;  "The  Trial  That  Job  Missed,"  by 
Kennett  Harris;  "The  Education  of  Grandpa,"  by  Wal- 
lace Irwin ;  "An  Improved  Calendar,"  by  Tudor  Jenks. 

Small,  Maynard  &  Company  for  "Mr  Dooley  on 
Gold  Seeking,"  "Mr.  Dooley  on  Expert  Testimony,"  "Mr. 
Dooley  on  Golf,"  "Mr.  Dooley  on  Football,"  "Mr.  Doo- 
ley on  Reform  Candidates/'  from  Mr.  Dooley  in  Peace 
and  War,  by  Finley  Peter  Dunne;  "E.  O.  R.  S.  W." 
from  Alphabet  of  Celebrities,  by  Oliver  Herford ;  "A  Let- 
ter," from  The  Letters  of  a  Self-Made  Merchant  to  His 
Son,  by  George  Horace  Lorimer;  "Vive  La  Bagatelle" 
and  "Willy  and  the  Lady,"  from  A  Gage  of  Youth,  by 
Gelett  Burgess;  "When  the  Allegash  Drive  Goes 
Through,"  from  Pine  Tree  Ballads,  by  Holman  F.  Day ; 
"Had  a  Set  of  Double  Teeth,"  from  Up  in  Maine,  by 
Holman  F.  Day;  "Similar  Cases,"  from  In  This  Our 
World,  by  Charlotte  Perkins  Gilman;  "Barney  McGee," 
by  Richard  Hovey,  from  More  Songs  from  Vagabondia; 
"A  Modern  Eclogue,"  "The  Sceptics,"  "A  Staccato  to 
O  le  Lupe,"  "A  Spring  Feeling,"  "Her  Valentine"  and 
"In  Philistia,"  by  Bliss  Carman,  from  Last  Songs  from 
Vagabondia,  and  "Vive  la  Bagatelle,"  "A  Cavalier's  Val- 
entine" and  "Holly  Song,"  from  Hills  of  Song,  by  Clin- 
ton Scollard. 

The  Mutual  Book  Company  for  "James  and  Reg- 
inald" and  "The  Story  of  the  Two  Friars,"  from  The 
Tribune  Primer,  by  Eugene  Field. 

The  Orange  Judd  Company  for  "Spelling  Down 


xv 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

the  Master/'  from  The  Hoosier  Schoolmaster,  by  Ed- 
ward Eggleston. 

James  Pott  &  Company  for  "The  Gusher,"  from  I've 
Been  Thinking,  by  Charles  Battell  Loomis. 

G.  P.  Putnam's  Sons  for  "When  Albani  Sang"  and 
"The  Stove  Pipe  Hole,"  from  The  Habitant,  by  William 
Henry  Drummond;  "National  Philosophy,"  from  The 
Voyageur,  by  William  Henry  Drummond ;  "The  Siege  of 
Djklxprwbz,"  "Grizzly-gru,"  "He  and  She,"  "The  Jack- 
pot," "A  Shining  Mark,"  "The  Reason,"  "Pass"  and 
"The  Whisperer,"  from  The  Rhymes  of  Ironquill,  by  Eu- 
gene F.  Ware,  and  "A  Family  Horse,"  from  The  Spar- 
row grass  Papers,  by  Frederick  S.  Cozzens. 

Rand,  McNally  &  Company  for  "An  Arkansas 
Planter,"  from  An  Arkansas  Planter,  by  Opie  Read. 

A.  M.  Robertson  for  "The  Drayman,"  from  Songs 
of  Bohemia,  by  Daniel  O'Connell. 

R.  H.  Russell  for  "Mr.  Carteret  and  His  Fellow- 
Americans  Abroad,"  by  David  Gray,  from  The  Metro- 
politan Magazine. 

The  Smart  Set  Publishing  Company  for  "An 
Evening  Musicale,"  by  May  Isabel  Fisk,  from  The  Smart 
Set 

The  Frederick  A.  Stokes  Company  for  "Colonel 
Sterett's  Panther  Hunt,"  from  Wolfville  Nights,  by  Al- 
fred Henry  Lewis;  "The  Bohemians  of  Boston,"  "The 
Purple  Cow"  and  "Nonsense  Verses,"  from  The  Bur- 
gess Nonsense  Book,  by  Gelett  Burgess,  and  "My  Grand- 
mother's Turkey-tail  Fan,"  "Little  Bopeep  and  Little 
Boy  Blue"  and  "My  Sweetheart,"  by  Samuel  Minturn 
Peck. 

The  Tandy-Wheeler  Publishing  Company  for 
"Utah,"  "A  New  Year  Idyl,"  "The  Warrior,"  "Lost 


xvi 


ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Chords"  and  "The  Advertiser,"  from  A  Little  Book  of 
Tribune  Verse,  by  Eugene  Field.  , 

Thompson  &  Thomas  for  "The  Grammatical  Boy," 
by  Edgar  Wilson  Nye  ("Bill  Nye"). 

The  A.  Wessels  Company  for  "The  Dying  Gag,"  by 
James  L.  Ford. 

M.  Witmark  &  Sons,  for  "Walk,"  from  Jim  Mar- 
shall's New  Pianner,  by  William  Devere. 

Special  thanks  are  due  to  George  Ade,  Wallace  Bruce 
Amsbary,  John  Kendrick  Bangs,  H.  W.  Boynton,  Gelett 
Burgess,  Ellis  Parker  Butler,  Hayden  Carruth,  Robert 
W.  Chambers,  Charles  Heber  Clarke,  Joseph  I.  C.  Clarke, 
Mary  Stewart  Cutting,  John  James  Davies,  Caroline 
Duer,  Mrs.  Edward  Eggleston,  May  Isabel  Fisk,  Elliott 
Flower,  James  L.  Ford,  David  Gray,  Sarah  P.  McLean 
Greene,  Jennie  Betts  Hartswick,  William  Dean  Howells, 
Wallace  Irwin,  Charles  F.  Johnson,  S.  E.  Kiser,  A.  H. 
Laidlaw,  Alfred  Henry  Lewis,  Charles  B.  Lewis,  Charles 
Battell  Loomis,  Charles  F.  Lummis,  T.  L.  Masson,  Wil- 
liam Vaughn  Moody,  R.  K.  Munkittrick,  W.  D.  Nesbit, 
Meredith  Nicholson,  Alden  Charles  Noble,  Samuel  Min- 
turn  Peck,  Sydney  Porter,  Wallace  Rice,  James  Whit- 
comb  Riley,  Doane  Robinson,  Henry  A.  Shute,  F.  Hop- 
kinson  Smith,  Harriet  Prescott  Spofford,  Howard  V. 
Sutherland,  John  B.  Tabb,  Bert  Leston  Taylor,  Juliet 
Wilbor  Tompkins,  Elizabeth  Stuart  Phelps  Ward,  Eugene 
F.  Ware,  Anne  Warner  French  and  Stanley  Waterloo  for 
permission  to  reprint  selections  from  their  works  and  for 
many  valuable  suggestions. 


xvu 


THE  WIT  AND    HUMOR 
OF  AMERICA 

MELONS 

BY   BRET    HARTE 

As  I  do  not  suppose  the  most  gentle  of  readers  will  be- 
lieve that  anybody's  sponsors  in  baptism  ever  wilfully 
assumed  the  responsibility  of  such  a  name,  I  may  as  well 
state  that  I  have  reason  to  infer  that  Melons  was  simply 
the  nickname  of  a  small  boy  I  once  knew.  If  he  had  any 
other,  I  never  knew  it. 

Various  theories  were  often  projected  by  me  to  ac- 
count for  this  strange  cognomen.  His  head,  which  was 
covered  with  a  transparent  down,  like  that  which  clothes 
very  small  chickens,  plainly  permitting  the  scalp  to  show 
through,  to  an  imaginative  mind  might  have  suggested 
that  succulent  vegetable.  That  his  parents,  recognizing 
some  poetical  significance  in  the  fruits  of  the  season, 
might  have  given  this  name  to  an  August  child,  was  an 
oriental  explanation.  That  from  his  infancy,  he  was  fond 
of  indulging  in  melons,  seemed  on  the  whole  the  most 
likely,  particularly  as  Fancy  was  not  bred  in  McGinnis's 
Court.  He  dawned  upon  me  as  Melons.  His  proximity 
was  indicated  by  shrill,  youthful  voices,  as  "Ah,  Melons !" 
or  playfully,  "Hi,  Melons !"  or  authoritatively,  "You 
Melons!" 

McGinnis's  Court  was  a  democratic  expression  of  some 
obstinate  and  radical  property-holder.  Occupying  a 
limited  space  between  two  fashionable  thoroughfares,  it 

i 


MELONS 

refuse3  to  conform  to  circumstances,  but  sturdily  paraded 
its  unkempt  glories,  and  frequently  asserted  itself  in  un- 
grammatical  language.  My  window — a  rear  room  on  the 
ground  floor — in  this  way  derived  blended  light  and 
shadow  from  the  court.  So  low  was  the  window-sill  that, 
had  I  been  the  least  disposed  to  somnambulism,  it  would 
have  broken  out  under  such  favorable  auspices,  and  I 
should  have  haunted  McGinnis's  Court.  My  speculations 
as  to  the  origin  of  the  court  were  not  altogether  gratui- 
tous, for  by  means  of  this  window  I  once  saw  the  Past, 
as  through  a  glass  darkly.  It  was  a  Celtic  shadow  that 
early  one  morning  obstructed  my  ancient  lights.  It 
seemed  to  belong  to  an  individual  with  a  pea-coat,  a 
stubby  pipe,  and  bristling  beard.  He  was  gazing  intently 
at  the  court,  resting  on  a  heavy  cane,  somewhat  in  the 
way  that  heroes  dramatically  visit  the  scenes  of  their 
boyhood.  As  there  was  little  of  architectural  beautv  in 
the  court,  I  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it  was  McGinnis 
looking  after  his  property.  The  fact  that  he  carefully 
kicked  a  broken  bottle  out  of  the  road  somewhat  strength- 
ened me  in  the  opinion.  But  he  presently  walked  away, 
and  the  court  knew  him  no  more.  He  probably  collected 
his  rents  by  proxy — if  he  collected  them  at  all. 

Beyond  Melons,  of  whom  all  this  is  purely  introduc- 
tory, there  was  little  to  interest  the  most  sanguine  and 
hopeful  nature.  In  common  with  all  such  localities,  a 
great  deal  of  washing  was  done,  in  comparison  with  the 
visible  results.  There  was  always  some  thing  whisking 
on  the  line,  and  always  some  thing  whisking  through  the 
court,  that  looked  as  if  it  ought  to  be  there.  A  fish- 
geranium — of  all  plants  kept  for  the  recreation  of  man- 
kind, certainly  the  greatest  illusion — straggled  under  the 
window.  Through  its  dusty  leaves  I  caught  the  first 
glance  of  Melons. 

2 


BRET    HARTE 

His  age  was  about  seven.  He  looked  older  from  the 
venerable  whiteness  of  his  head,  and  it  was  impossible  to 
conjecture  his  size,  as  he  always  wore  clothes  apparently 
belonging-  to  some  shapely  youth  of  nineteen.  A  pair  of 
pantaloons,  that,  when  sustained  by  a  single  suspender, 
completely  equipped  him,  formed  his  every-day  suit. 
How,  with  this  lavish  superfluity  of  clothing,  he  managed 
to  perform  the  surprising  gymnastic  feats  it  has  been  my 
privilege  to  witness,  I  have  never  been  able  to  tell.  His 
"turning  the  crab,"  and  other  minor  dislocations,  were 
always  attended  with  success.  It  was  not  an  unusual 
sight  at  any  hour  of  the  day  to  find  Melons  suspended  on 
a  line,  or  to  see  his  venerable  head  appearing  above  the 
roofs  of  the  outhouses.  Melons  knew  the  exact  height  of 
every  fence  in  the  vicinity,  its  facilities  for  scaling,  and 
the  possibility  of  seizure  on  the  other  side.  His  more 
peaceful  and  quieter  amusements  consisted  in  dragging 
a  disused  boiler  by  a  large  string,  with  hideous  outcries, 
to  imaginary  fires. 

Melons  was  not  gregarious  in  his  habits.  A  few  youth 
of  his  own  age  sometimes  called  upon  him,  but  they 
eventually  became  abusive,  and  their  visits  were  more 
strictly  predatory  incursions  for  old  bottles  and  junk 
which  formed  the  staple  of  McGinnis's  Court.  Overcome 
by  loneliness  one  day,  Melons  inveigled  a  blind  harper 
into  the  court.  For  two  hours  did  that  wretched  man 
prosecute  his  unhallowed  calling,  unrecompensed,  and 
going  round  and  round  the  court,  apparently  under  the 
impression  that  it  was  some  other  place,  while  Melons 
surveyed  him  from  an  adjoining  fence  with  calm  satis- 
faction. It  was  this  absence  of  conscientious  motives 
that  brought  Melons  into  disrepute  with  his  aristocratic 
neighbors.  Orders  were  issued  that  no  child  of  wealthy 
and  pious  parentage  should  play  with  him.    This  man- 

3 


MELONS 

date,  as  a  matter  of  course,  invested  Melons  with  a  fas- 
cinating interest  to  them.  Admiring  glances  were  cast  at 
Melons  from  nursery  windows.  Baby  fingers  beckoned  to 
him.  Invitations  to  tea  (on  wood  and  pewter)  were 
lisped  to  him  from  aristocratic  back-yards.  It  was  evi- 
dent he  was  looked  upon  as  a  pure  and  noble  being,  un- 
trammelled by  the  conventionalities  of  parentage,  and 
physically  as  well  as  mentally  exalted  above  them.  One 
afternoon  an  unusual  commotion  prevailed  in  the  vicinity 
of  McGinnis's  Court.  Looking  from  my  window  I  saw 
Melons  perched  on  the  roof  of  a  stable,  pulling  up  a  rope 
by  which  one  "Tommy,"  an  infant  scion  of  an  adjacent 
and  wealthy  house,  was  suspended  in  mid-air.  In  vain 
the  female  relatives  of  Tommy,  congregated  in  the  back- 
yard, expostulated  with  Melons;  in  vain  the  unhappy 
father  shook  his  fist  at  him.  Secure  in  his  position, 
Melons  redoubled  his  exertions  and  at  last  landed  Tommy 
on  the  roof.  Then  it  was  that  the  humiliating  fact  was 
disclosed  that  Tommy  had  been  acting  in  collusion  with 
Melons.  He  grinned  delightedly  back  at  his  parents,  as 
if  "by  merit  raised  to  that  bad  eminence."  Long  before 
the  ladder  arrived  that  was  to  succor  him,  he  became  the 
sworn  ally  of  Melons,  and,  I  regret  to  say,  incited  by  the 
same  audacious  boy,  "chaffed"  his  own  flesh  and  blood 
below  him.  He  was  eventually  taken,  though,  of  course, 
Melons  escaped.  But  Tommy  was  restricted  to  the  win- 
dow after  that,  and  the  companionship  was  limited  to 
"Hi  Melons!"  and  "You  Tommy!"  and  Melons  to  all 
practical  purposes,  lost  him  forever.  I  looked  afterward 
to  see  some  signs  of  sorrow  on  Melons's  part,  but  in  vain ; 
he  buried  his  grief,  if  he  had  any,  somewhere  in  his  one 
voluminous  garment. 

At  about  this  time  my  opportunities  of  knowing  Melons 
became  more  extended.  I  was  engaged  in  filling  a  void  in 

4 


BRET    HARTE 

the  Literature  pi  the  Pacific  Coast.  As  this  void  was  a 
pretty  large  one,  and  as  I  was  informed  that  the  Pacific 
Coast  languished  under  it,  I  set  apart  two  hours  each  day 
to  this  work  of  filling  in.  It  was  necessary  that  I  should 
adopt  a  methodical  system,  so  I  retired  from  the  world 
and  locked  myself  in  my  room  at  a  certain  hour  each 
day,  after  coming  from  my  office.  I  then  carefully  drew 
out  my  portfolio  and  read  what  I  had  written  the  day 
before.  This  would  suggest  some  alterations,  and  I 
would  carefully  rewrite  it.  During  this  operation  I  would 
turn  to  consult  a  book  of  reference,  which  invariably 
proved  extremely  interesting  and  attractive.  It  would 
generally  suggest  another  and  better  method  of  "filling 
in."  Turning  this  method  over  reflectively  in  my  mind, 
I  would  finally  commence  the  new  method  which  I  eventu- 
ally abandoned  for  the  original  plan.  At  this  time  I 
would  become  convinced  that  my  exhausted  faculties  de- 
manded a  cigar.  The  operation  of  lighting  a  cigar  usu- 
ally suggested  that  a  little  quiet  reflection  and  meditation 
would  be  of  service  to  me,  and  I  always  allowed  myself 
to  be  guided  by  prudential  instincts.  Eventually,  seated 
by  my  window,  as  before  stated,  Melons  asserted  himself. 
Though  our  conversation  rarely  went  further  than  "Hello, 
Mister !"  and  "Ah,  Melons !"  a  vagabond  instinct  we  felt 
in  common  implied  a  communion  deeper  than  words.  In 
this  spiritual  commingling  the  time  passed,  often  be- 
guiled by  gymnastics  on  the  fence  or  line  (always  with  an 
eye  to  my  window)  until  dinner  was  announced  and  I 
found  a  more  practical  void  required  my  attention.  An 
unlooked-for  incident  drew  us  in  closer  relation. 

A  sea-faring  friend  just  from  a  tropical  voyage  had 
presented  me  with  a  bunch  of  bananas.  They  were  not 
quite  ripe,  and  I  hung  them  before  my  window  to  mature 
in  the  sun  of  McGinnis's  Court,  whose  forcing  qualities 

5 


MELONS 

were  remarkable.  In  the  mysteriously  mingled  odors  of 
ship  and  shore  which  they  diffused  throughout  my  room, 
there  was  lingering  reminiscence  of  low  latitudes.  But 
even  that  joy  was  fleeting  and  evanescent:  they  never 
reached  maturity. 

Coming  home  one  day,  as  I  turned  the  corner  of  that 
fashionable  thoroughfare  before  alluded  to,  I  met  a  small 
boy  eating  a  banana.  There  was  nothing  remarkable  in 
that,  but  as  I  neared  McGinnis's  Court  I  presently  met 
another  small  boy,  also  eating  a  banana.  A  third  small 
boy  engaged  in  a  like  occupation  obtruded  a  painful  co- 
incidence upon  my  mind.  I  leave  the  psychological  reader 
to  determine  the  exact  co-relation  between  the  circum- 
stance and  the  sickening  sense  of  loss  that  overcame  me  on 
witnessing  it.  I  reached  my  room — the  bananas  were  gone. 

There  was  but  one  that  knew  of  their  existence,  but  one 
who  frequented  my  window,  but  one  capable  of  gym- 
nastic effort  to  procure  them,  and  that  was — I  blush  to 
say  it — Melons.  Melons  the  depredator — Melons,  de- 
spoiled by  larger  boys  of  his  ill-gotten  booty,  or  reckless 
and  indiscreetly  liberal;  Melons — now  a  fugitive  on 
some  neighborhood  house-top.  I  lit  a  cigar,  and,  draw- 
ing my  chair  to  the  window,  sought  surcease  of  sorrow 
in  the  contemplation  of  the  fish-geranium.  In  a  few  mo- 
ments something  white  passed  my  window  at  about  the 
level  of  the  edge.  There  was  no  mistaking  that  hoary 
head,  which  now  represented  to  me  only  aged  iniquity. 
It  was  Melons,  that  venerable,  juvenile  hypocrite. 

He  affected  not  to  observe  me,  and  would  have  with- 
drawn quietly,  but  that  horrible  fascination  which  causes 
the  murderer  to  revisit  the  scene  of  his  crime,  impelled 
him  toward  my  window.  I  smoked  calmly,  and  gazed  at 
him  without  speaking.  He  walked  several  times  up  and 
down  the  court  with  a  half-rigid,  half-belligerent  ex- 

6 


BRET    HARTE 

pression  of  eye  and  shoulder,  intended  to  represent  the 
carelessness  of  innocence. 

Once  or  twice  he  stopped,  and  putting  his  arms  their 
whole  length  into  his  capacious  trousers,  gazed  with  some 
interest  at  the  additional  width  they  thus  acquired.  Then 
he  whistled.  The  singular  conflicting  conditions  of  John 
Brown's  body  and  soul  were  at  that  time  beginning  to 
attract  the  attention  of  youth,  and  Melons's  performance 
of  that  melody  was  always  remarkable.  But  to-day  he 
whistled  falsely  and  shrilly  between  his  teeth.  At  last  he 
met  my  eye.  He  winced  slightly,  but  recovered  himself, 
and  going  to  the  fence,  stood  for  a  few  moments  on  his 
hands,  with  his  bare  feet  quivering  in  the  air.  Then  he 
turned  toward  me  and  threw  out  a  conversational  pre- 
liminary. 

"They  is  a  cirkis" — said  Melons  gravely,  hanging  with 
his  back  to  the  fence  and  his  arms  twisted  around  the  pa- 
lings— "a  cirkis  over  yonder!" — indicating  the  locality 
with  his  foot — "with  hosses,  and  hossback  riders.  They 
is  a  man  wot  rides  six  hosses  to  onct — six  hosses  to  onct 
— and  nary  saddle" — and  he  paused  in  expectation. 

Even  this  equestrian  novelty  did  not  affect  me.  I  still 
kept  a  fixed  gaze  on  Melons's  eye,  and  he  began  to  tremble 
and  visibly  shrink  in  his  capacious  garment.  Some  other 
desperate  means — conversation  with  Melons  was  always 
a  desperate  means — must  be  resorted  to.  He  recom- 
menced more  artfully. 

"Do  you  know  Carrots?" 

I  had  a  faint  remembrance  of  a  boy  of  that  euphonious 
name,  with  scarlet  hair,  who  was  a  playmate  and  perse- 
cutor of  Melons.    But  I  said  nothing. 

"Carrots  is  a  bad  boy.  Killed  a  policeman  onct.  Wears 
a  dirk  knife  in  his  boots,  saw  him  to-day  looking  in  your 
windy." 

Vol.   1—3  ' 


MELONS 

I  felt  that  this  must  end  here.  I  rose  sternly  and  ad- 
dressed Melons. 

"Melons,  this  is  all  irrelevant  and  impertinent  to  the 
case.  You  took  those  bananas.  Your  proposition  re- 
garding Carrots,  even  if  I  were  inclined  to  accept  it  as 
credible  information,  does  not  alter  the  material  issue. 
You  took  those  bananas.  The  offense  under  the  Statutes 
of  California  is  felony.  How  far  Carrots  may  have  been 
accessory  to  the  fact  either  before  or  after,  is  not  my  in- 
tention at  present  to  discuss.  The  act  is  complete.  Your 
present  conduct  shows  the  animo  furandi  to  have  been 
equally  clear." 

By  the  time  I  had  finished  this  exordium,  Melons  had 
disappeared,  as  I  fully  expected. 

He  never  reappeared.  The  remorse  that  I  have  ex- 
perienced for  the  part  I  had  taken  in  what  I  fear  may 
have  resulted  in  his  utter  and  complete  extermination, 
alas,  he  may  not  know,  except  through  these  pages.  For 
I  have  never  seen  him  since.  Whether  he  ran  away  and 
went  to  sea  to  reappear  at  some  future  day  as  the  most 
ancient  of  mariners,  or  whether  he  buried  himself  com- 
pletely in  his  trousers,  I  never  shall  know.  I  have  read 
the  papers  anxiously  for  accounts  of  him.  I  have  gone 
to  the  Police  Office  in  the  vain  attempt  of  identifying  him 
as  a  lost  child.  But  I  never  saw  him  or  heard  of  him 
since.  Strange  fears  have  sometimes  crossed  my  mind 
that  his  venerable  appearance  may  have  been  actually  the 
result  of  senility,  and  that  he  may  have  been  gathered 
peacefully  to  his  fathers  in  a  green  old  age.  I  have  even 
had  doubts  of  his  existence,  and  have  sometimes  thought 
that  he  was  providentially  and  mysteriously  offered  to  fill 
the  void  I  have  before  alluded  to.  In  that  hope  I  have 
written  these  pages. 

8 


I 


THE   DEACON'S    MASTERPIECE 


OR,    THE    WONDERFUL    "ONE-HOSS    SHAY" 


A  Logical  Story 

BY   OLIVER    WENDELL    HOLMES 

Have  you  heard  of  the  wonderful  one-hoss  shay, 

That  was  built  in  such  a  logical  way 

It  ran  a  hundred  years  to  a  day, 

And  then,  of  a  sudden,  it — ah,  but  stay, 

I'll  tell  you  what  happened  without  delay, 

Scaring  the  parson  into  fits, 

Frightening  people  out  of  their  wits, — 

Have  you  ever  heard  of  that,  I  say? 

Seventeen  hundred  and  fifty-five. 
Georgius  Secundus  was  then  alive, — 
Snuffy  old  drone  from  the  German  hive. 
That  was  the  year  when  Lisbon-town 
Saw  the  earth  open  and  gulp  her  down, 
And  Braddock's  army  was  done  so  brown, 
Left  without  a  scalp  to  its  crown. 
It  was  on  the  terrible  Earthquake-day 
That  the  Deacon  finished  the  one-hoss  shay. 

Now  in  building  of  chaises,  I  tell  you  what, 
There  is  always  somewhere  a  weakest  spot, — 
In  hub,  tire,  felloe,  in  spring  or  thill, 
In  panel,  or  crossbar,  or  floor,  or  sill, 

9 


THE    DEACON'S    MASTERPIECE 

In  screw,  bolt,  thoroughbrace, — lurking  still, 
Find  it  somewhere  you  must  and  will, — 
Above  or  below,  or  within  or  without, — 
And  that's  the  reason,  beyond  a  doubt, 
That  a  chaise  breaks  down,  but  doesn't  wear  out. 

But  the  Deacon  swore,  (as  Deacons  do, 
With  an  "I  dew  vum,"  or  an  "I  tell  yeou") 
He  would  build  one  shay  to  beat  the  taown 
'N'  the  keounty  V  all  the  kentry  raoun' ; 
It  should  be  so  built  that  it  couldnf  break  daown : 
— "Fur,"  said  the  Deacon,  "  't's  mighty  plain 
Thut  the  weakes'  place  mus'  stan'  the  strain ; 
'N'  the  way  t'  fix  it,  uz  I  maintain, 

Is  only  jest 
T*  make  that  place  uz  strong  uz  the  rest." 

So  the  Deacon  inquired  of  the  village  folk 
Where  he  could  find  the  strongest  oak, 
That  couldn't  be  split  nor  bent  nor  broke, — 
That  was  for  spokes  and  floor  and  sills ; 
He  sent  for  lancewood  to  make  the  thills ; 
The  crossbars  were  ash,  from  the  straightest  trees, 
The  panels  of  whitewood,  that  cuts  like  cheese, 
But  lasts  like  iron  for  things  like  these ; 
The  hubs  of  logs  from  the  "Settler's  ellum,"— 
Last  of  its  timber, — they  couldn't  sell  'em, 
Never  an  axe  had  seen  their  chips, 
And  the  wedges  flew  from  between  their  lips, 
Their  blunt  ends  frizzled  like  celery-tips ; 
Step  and  prop-iron,  bolt  and  screw, 
Spring,  tire,  axle,  and  linchpin  too, 
Steel  of  the  finest,  bright  and  blue ; 
Thoroughbrace  bison-skin,  thick  and  wide ; 

10 


OLIVER    WENDELL    HOLMES 

Boot,  top,  dasher,  from  tough  old  hide 
Found  in  the  pit  when  the  tanner  died. 
That  was  the  way  he  "put  her  through." — 
"There!"  said  the  Deacon,  "naow  she'll  dew!" 

Do !  I  tell  you,  I  rather  guess 

She  was  a  wonder,  and  nothing  less ! 

Colts  grew  horses,  beards  turned  gray, 

Deacon  and  deaconess  dropped  away, 

Children  and  grandchildren — where  were  they  ? 

But  there  stood  the  stout  old  one-hoss  shay 

As  fresh  as  on  Lisbon-earthquake-day ! 

Eighteen  Hundred  ; — It  came  and  found 
The  Deacon's  masterpiece  strong  and  sound. 
Eighteen  hundred  increased  by  ten ; — 
"Hahnsum  kerridge"  they  called  it  then. 
Eighteen  hundred  and  twenty  came ; — 
Running  as  usual ;  much  the  same. 
Thirty  and  forty  at  last  arrive, 
And  then  come  fifty,  and  fifty-five. 

Little  of  all  we  value  here 

Wakes  on  the  morn  of  its  hundredth  year 

Without  both  feeling  and  looking  queer. 

In  fact,  there's  nothing  that  keeps  its  youth, 

So  far  as  I  know,  but  a  tree  and  truth. 

(This  is  a  moral  that  runs  at  large; 

Take  it. — You're  welcome. — No  extra  charge. ) 

First  of  November, — The  Earthquake-day — 
There  are  traces  of  age  in  the  one-hpss  shay, 
A  general  flavor  of  mild  decay, 
But  nothing  local,  as  one  may  say. 

II 


THE   DEACON'S    MASTERPIECE 

There  couldn't  be, — for  the  Deacon's  art 
Had  made  it  so  like  in  every  part 
That  there  wasn't  a  chance  for  one  to  start. 
For  the  wheels  were  just  as  strong  as  the  thills, 
And  the  floor  was  just  as  strong  as  the  sills, 
And  the  panels  just  as  strong  as  the  floor, 
And  the  whipple-tree  neither  less  nor  more, 
And  the  back-crossbar  as  strong  as  the  fore, 
And  the  spring  and  axle  and  hub  encore. 
And  yet,  as  a  whole,  it  is  past  a  doubt 
In  another  hour  it  will  be  worn  out! 

First  of  November,  'Fifty-five ! 

This  morning  the  parson  takes  a  drive. 

Now,  small  boys,  get  out  of  the  way ! 

Here  comes  the  wonderful  one-hoss  shay, 

Drawn  by  a  rat-tailed,  ewe-necked  bay. 

"Huddup !"  said  the  parson. — Off  went  they. 

The  parson  was  working  his  Sunday's  text, — 

Had  got  to  -fifthly,  and  stopped  perplexed 

At  what  the — Moses — was  coming  next. 

All  at  once  the  horse  stood  still, 

Close  by  the  meet'n'-house  on  the  hill. 

— First  a  shiver,  and  then  a  thrill, 

Then  something  decidedly  like  a  spill, — 

And  the  parson  was  sitting  upon  a  rock, 

At  half  past  nine  by  the  meet'n'-house  clock, — 

Just  the  hour  of  the  Earthquake  shock ! 

— What  do  you  think  the  parson  found, 

When  he  got  up  and  stared  around  ? 

The  poor  old  chaise  in  a  heap  or  mound, 

As  if  it  had  been  to  the  mill  and  ground ! 

You  see,  of  course,  if  you're  not  a  dunce, 

How  it  went  to  pieces  all  at  once, — 

12 


OLIVER    WENDELL    HOLMES 

All  at  once,  and  nothing  first, — 
Just  as  bubbles  do  when  they  burst. 

End  of  the  wonderful  one-hoss  shay. 
Logic  is  logic.    That's  all  I  say. 


THE  PURPLE  COW 

BY   GELETT   BURGESS 

Reflections  on  a  Mythic  Beast, 
Who's  Quite  Remarkable,  at  Least. 

I  never  Saw  a  Purple  Cow ; 

I  never  Hope  to  See  One ; 
But  I  can  Tell  you,  Anyhow, 

I'd  rather  See  than  Be  One. 

Cinq  Ans  Apres. 

(Confession:  and  a  Portrait,  Too, 
Upon  a  Background  that  I  Rue!) 

Ah,  yes !  I  wrote  the  "Purple  Cow"- 
I'm  Sorry,  now,  I  Wrote  it ! 

But  I  can  Tell  you,  Anyhow, 
I'll  Kill  you  if  you  Quote  it ! 


13 


THE  CURSE  OF  THE  COMPETENT 

BY    HENRY    J.    FINN 

My  spirit  hath  been  seared,  as  though  the  lightning's 
scathe  had  rent, 

In  the  swiftness  of  its  wrath,  through  the  midnight  firma- 
ment, 

The  darkly  deepening  clouds;  and  the  shadows  dim  and 
murky 

Of  destiny  are  on  me,  for  my  dinner's  naught  but — turkey. 

The  chords  upon  my  silent  lute  no  soft  vibrations  know, 
Save  where  the  moanings  of  despair — out-breathings  of 

my  woe — 
Tell  of  the  cold  and  selfish  world.    In  melancholy  mood, 
The  soul  of  genius  chills  with  only — fourteen  cords  of 

wood. 

The  dreams  of  the  deserted  float  around  my  curtained 

hours, 
And  young  imaginings  are  as  the  thorns  bereft  of  flowers ; 
A  wretched  outcast  from  mankind,  my  strength  of  heart 

has  sank 
Beneath  the  evils  of — ten  thousand  dollars  in  the  bank. 

This  life  to  me  a  desert  is,  and  kindness,  as  the  stream 
That  singly  drops  upon  the  waste  where  burning  breezes 
teem; 

14 


HENRY   J.    FINN 

A  banished,  blasted  plant,  I  droop,  to  which  no  freshness 

lends 
Its  healing  balm,  for  Heaven  knows,  I've  but — a  dozen 

friends. 

And  Sorrow  round  my  brow  has  wreathed  its  coronal  of 

thorns ; 
No  dewy  pearl  of  Pleasure  my  sad  sunken  eyes  adorns ; 
Calamity  has  clothed  my  thoughts,   I   feel  a  bliss  no 

more, — 
Alas!  my  wardrobe  now  would  only — stock  a  clothing 

store. 

The  joyousness  of  Memory  from  me  for  aye  hath  fled ; 
It  dwells  within  the  dreary  habitation  of  the  dead ; 
I  breathe  my  midnight  melodies  in  languor  and  by  stealth, 
For  Fate  inflicts  upon  my  frame — the  luxury  of  health. 

Envy,  Neglect,  and  Scorn  have  been  my  hard  inheritance ; 

And  a  baneful  curse  clings  to  me,  like  the  stain  on  inno- 
cence ; 

My  moments  are  as  faded  leaves,  or  roses  in  their 
blight — 

I'm  asked  but  once  a  day  to  dine — to  parties  every  night. 

Would  that  I  were  a  silver  ray  upon  the  moonlit  air, 

Or  but  one  gleam  that's  glorified  by  each  Peruvian's 

prayer ! 
My  tortured  spirit  turns  from  earth,  to  ease  its  bitter 

loathing ; 
My  hatred  is  on  all  things  here,  because — /  want  for 

nothing. 

15 


THE  GRAMMATICAL  BOY 

BY    BILL    NYE 

Sometimes  a  sad,  homesick  feeling  comes  over  me, 
when  I  compare  the  prevailing  style  of  anecdote  and 
school  literature  with  the  old  McGuffey  brand,  so  well 
known  thirty  years  ago.  To-day  our  juvenile  literature, 
it  seems  to  me,  is  so  transparent,  so  easy  to  understand, 
that  I  am  not  surprised  to  learn  that  the  rising  generation 
shows  signs  of  lawlessness. 

Boys  to-day  do  not  use  the  respectful  language  and 
large,  luxuriant  words  that  they  did  when  Mr.  McGuffey 
used  to  stand  around  and  report  their  conversations  for 
his  justly  celebrated  school  reader.  It  is  disagreeable  to 
think  of,  but  it  is  none  the  less  true,  and  for  one  I  think 
we  should  face  the  facts. 

I  ask  the  careful  student  of  school  literature  to  compare 
the  following  selection,  which  I  have  written  myself  with 
great  care,  and  arranged  with  special  reference  to  the 
matter  of  choice  and  difficult  words,  with  the  flippant  and 
commonplace  terms  used  in  the  average  school  book  of 
to-day. 

One  day  as  George  Pillgarlic  was  going  to  his  tasks, 
and  while  passing  through  the  wood,  he  spied  a  tall  man 
approaching  in  an  opposite  direction  along  the  highway. 

"Ah !"  thought  George,  in  a  low,  mellow  tone  of  voice, 
"whom  have  we  here  ?" 

"Good  morning,  my  fine  fellow,"  exclaimed  the 
stranger,  pleasantly.  "Do  you  reside  in  this  locality  ?" 

16 


BILL    NYE 

"Indeed  I  do,"  retorted  George,  cheerily,  doffing  his 
cap.  "In  yonder  cottage,  near  the  glen,  my  widowed 
mother  and  her  thirteen  children  dwell  with  me." 

"And  is  your  father  dead?"  exclaimed  the  man,  with  a 
rising  inflection. 

"Extremely  so,"  murmured  the  lad,  "and,  oh,  sir,  that 
is  why  my  poor  mother  is  a  widow." 

"And  how  did  your  papa  die?"  asked  the  man,  as  he 
thoughtfully  stood  on  the  other  foot  a  while. 

"Alas !  sir,"  said  George,  as  a  large  hot  tear  stole  down 
his  pale  cheek  and  fell  with  a  loud  report  on  the  warty 
surface  of  his  bare  foot,  "he  was  lost  at  sea  in  a  bitter 
gale.  The  good  ship  foundered  two  years  ago  last  Christ- 
mastide,  and  father  was  foundered  at  the  same  time.  No 
one  knew  of  the  loss  of  the  ship  and  that  the  crew  was 
drowned  until  the  next  spring,  and  it  was  then  too  late." 

"And  what  is  your  age,  my  fine  fellow?"  quoth  the 
stranger. 

"If  I  live  till  next  October,"  said  the  boy,  in  a  declama- 
tory tone  of  voice  suitable  for  a  Second  Reader,  "I  will 
be  seven  years  of  age." 

"And  who  provides  for  your  mother  and  her  large 
family  of  children  ?"  queried  the  man. 

"Indeed,  I  do,  sir,"  replied  George,  in  a  shrill  tone.  "I 
toil,  oh,  so  hard,  sir,  for  we  are  very,  very  poor,  and  since 
my  elder  sister,  Ann,  was  married  and  brought  her  hus- 
band home  to  live  with  us,  I  have  to  toil  more  assiduously 
than  heretofore." 

"And  by  what  means  do  you  obtain  a  livelihood  ?"  ex- 
claimed the  man,  in  slowly  measured  and  grammatical 
words. 

"By  digging  wells,  kind  sir,"  replied  George,  picking 
up  a  tired  ant  as  he  spoke  and  stroking  it  on  the  back.  "I 
have  a  good  education,  and  so  I  am  able  to  dig  wells  as 

17 


THE    GRAMMATICAL    BOY 

well  as  a  man.  I  do  this  day-times  and  take  in  washing 
at  night.  In  this  way  I  am  enabled  barely  to  maintain  our 
family  in  a  precarious  manner;  but,  oh,  sir,  should  my 
other  sisters  marry,  I  fear  that  some  of  my  brothers-in- 
law  would  have  to  suffer." 

"And  do  you  not  fear  the  deadly  fire-damp  ?"  asked  the 
stranger  in  an  earnest  tone. 

"Not  by  a  damp  sight,"  answered  George,  with  a  low 
gurgling  laugh,  for  he  was  a  great  wag. 

"You  are  indeed  a  brave  lad,"  exclaimed  the  stranger, 
as  he  repressed  a  smile.  "And  do  you  not  at  times  become 
very  weary  and  wish  for  other  ways  of  passing  your 
time?" 

"Indeed,  I  do,  sir,"  said  the  lad.  "I  would  fain  run  and 
romp  and  be  gay  like  other  boys,  but  I  must  engage  in 
constant  manual  exercise,  or  we  will  have  no  bread  to  eat, 
and  I  have  not  seen  a  pie  since  papa  perished  in  the  moist 
and  moaning  sea." 

"And  what  if  I  were  to  tell  you  that  your  papa  did  not 
perish  at  sea,  but  was  saved  from  a  humid  grave  ?"  asked 
the  stranger  in  pleasing  tones. 

"Ah,  sir,"  exclaimed  George,  in  a  genteel  manner, 
again  doffing  his  cap,  "I  am  too  polite  to  tell  you  what  I 
would  say,  and  besides,  sir,  you  are  much  larger  than  I 
am." 

"But,  my  brave  lad,"  said  the  man  in  low  musical  tones, 
"do  you  not  know  me,  Georgie?  Oh,  George!" 

"I  must  say,"  replied  George,  "that  you  have  the  ad- 
vantage of  me.  Whilst  I  may  have  met  you  before,  I  can 
not  at  this  moment  place  you,  sir." 

"My  son !  oh,  my  son !"  murmured  the  man,  at  the  same 
time  taking  a  large  strawberry  mark  out  of  his  valise  and 
showing  it  to  the  lad.  "Do  you  not  recognize  your  parent 
on  your  father's  side?   When  our  good  ship  went  to  the 

18 


BILL    NYE 

bottom,  all  perished  save  me.  I  swam  several  miles 
through  the  billows,  and  at  last,  utterly  exhausted,  gave 
up  all  hope  of  life.  Suddenly  I  stepped  on  something  hard. 
It  was  the  United  States. 

"And  now,  my  brave  boy,"  exclaimed  the  man  with 
great  glee,  "see  what  I  have  brought  for  you."  It  was  but 
the  work  of  a  moment  to  unclasp  from  a  shawl-strap 
which  he  held  in  his  hand  and  present  to  George's  aston- 
ished gaze  a  large  forty-cent  watermelon,  which  until  now 
had  been  concealed  by  the  shawl-strap. 


SIMPLE  ENGLISH 

BY    RAY    CLARKE   ROSE 

Ofttimes  when  I  put  on  my  gloves, 

I  wonder  if  I'm  sane. 
For  when  I  put  the  right  one  on, 

The  right  seems  to  remain 
To  be  put  on — that  is,  't  is  left ; 

Yet  if  the  left  I  don, 
The  other  one  is  left,  and  then 

I  have  the  right  one  on. 
But  still  I  have  the  left  on  right ; 

The  right  one,  though,  is  left 
To  go  right  on  the  left  right  hand 

All  right,  if  I  am  deft. 


19 


PARTINGTONIAN  PATCHWORK 

BY    B.    P.    SHILLABER 
VII 

"Are  you  in  favor  of  the  prohibitive  law,  or  the  license 
law  ?"  asked  her  opposite  neighbor  of  the  relict  of  P.  P. ; 
corporal  of  the  "Bloody  'Leventh." 

She  carefully  weighed  the  question,  as  though  she  were 
selling  snuff,  and  answered, — 

"Sometimes  I  think  I  am,  and  then  again  I  think  I  am 
not." 

Her  neighbor  was  perplexed,  and  repeated  the  ques- 
tion, varying-  it  a  little. 

"Have  you  seen  the  'Mrs.  Partington  Twilight  Soap'  ?" 
she  asked. 

"Yes,"  was  the  reply;  "everybody  has  seen  that;  but 
why?" 

"Because,"  said  the  dame,  "it  has  two  sides  to  it,  and  it 
is  hard  to  choose  between  them.  Now  here  are  my  two 
neighbors,  contagious  to  me  on  both  sides — one  goes  for 
probation,  t'other  for  licentiousness ;  and  I  think  the  best 
thing  for  me  is  to  keep  nuisance." 

She  meant  neutral,  of  course.  The  neighbor  admired, 
and  smiled,  while  Ike  lay  on  the  floor,  with  his  legs  in  the 
air,  trying  to  balance  Mrs.  Partington's  fancy  waiter  on 
his  toe. 

IX 

Christmas  Ike  was  made  the  happy  possessor  of  a  fid- 
dle, which  he  found  in  the  morning  near  his  stocking. 

20 


B.    P.    SHILLABER 

"Has  he  got  a  musical  bent?"  Banfield  asked,  of  whom 
Mrs.  Partington  was  buying  the  instrument. 

"Bent,  indeed !"  said  she;  "no,  he's  as  straight  as  an 
error." 

He  explained  by  repeating  the  question  regarding  his 
musical  inclination. 

"Yes,"  she  replied;  "he's  dreadfully  inclined  to  music 
since  he  had  a  drum,  and  I  want  the  fiddle  to  see  if  I  can't 
make  another  Pickaninny  or  an  Old  Bull  of  him.  Jews- 
harps  is  simple,  though  I  can't  see  how  King  David 
played  on  one  of  'em,  and  sung  his  psalms  at  the  same 
time;  but  the  fiddle  is  best,  because  genius  can  show  itself 
plainer  on  it  without  much  noise.  Some  prefers  a  vio- 
leen ;  but  I  don't  know." 

The  fiddle  was  well  improved,  till  the  horsehair  all 
pulled  out  of  the  bow,  and  it  was  then  twisted  up  into  a 
fish-line. 

XVI 

"How  limpid  you  walk !"  said  a  voice  behind  us,  as  we 
were  making  a  hundred  and  fifty  horse-power  effort  to 
reach  a  table  whereon  reposed  a  volume  of  Bacon.  "What 
is  the  cause  of  your  lameness  ?"  It  was  Mrs.  Partington's 
voice  that  spoke,  and  Mrs.  Partington's  eyes  that  met  the 
glance  we  returned  over  our  left  shoulder.  "Gout,"  said 
we,  briefly,  almost  surlily.  "Dear  me,"  said  she;  "you  are 
highly  flavored!  It  was  only  rich  people  and  epicacs  in 
living  that  had  the  gout  in  olden  times."  "Ah!"  we 
growled,  partly  in  response,  and  partly  with  an  infernal 
twinge.  "Poor  soul!"  she  continued,  with  commisera- 
tion, like  an  anodyne,  in  the  tones  of  her  voice ;  "the  best 
remedy  I  know  for  it  is  an  embarkation  of  Roman  worm- 
wood and  lobelia  for  the  part  infected,  though  some  say 
a  cranberry  poultice  is  best ;  but  I  believe  the  cranberries 

21 


PARTINGTONIAN    PATCHWORK 

is  for  erisipilis,  and  whether  either  of  'em  is  a  rostrum  for 
the  gout  or  not,  I  really  don't  know.  If  it  was  a  fraction 
of  the  arm,  I  could  jest  know  what  to  subscribe."  We 
looked  into  her  eye  with  a  determination  to  say  something 
severely  bitter,  because  we  felt  allopathic  just  then;  but 
the  kind  and  sympathizing  look  that  met  our  own  dis- 
armed severity,  and  sinking  into  a  seat  with  our  coveted 
Bacon,  we  thanked  her.  It  was  very  evident,  all  the 
while,  that  she,  or  they,  stayed,  that  Ike  was  seeing  how 
near  he  could  come  to  our  lame  member,  and  not  touch  it. 
He  did  touch  it  sometimes,  but  those  didn't  count. 

XX 

"I've  always  noticed,"  said  Mrs.  Partington  on  New 
Year's  Day,  dropping  her  voice  to  the  key  that  people 
adopt  when  they  are  disposed  to  be  philosophical  or 
moral;  "I've  always  noticed  that  every  year  added  to  a 
man's  life  is  apt  to  make  him  older,  just  as  a  man  who 
goes  a  journey  finds,  as  he  jogs  on,  that  every  mile  he 
goes  brings  him  nearer  where  he  is  going,  and  farther 
from  where  he  started.  I  am  not  so  young  as  I  was  once, 
and  I  don't  believe  I  shall  ever  be,  if  I  live  to  the  age  of 
Samson,  which,  Heaven  knows  as  well  as  I  do,  I  don't 
want  to,  for  I  wouldn't  be  a  centurion  or  an  octagon,  and 
survive  my  factories,  and  become  idiomatic,  by  any 
means.  But  then  there  is  no  knowing  how  a  thing  will 
turn  out  till  it  takes  place;  and  we  shall  come  to  an  end 
some  day,  though  we  may  never  live  to  see  it." 

There  was  a  smart  tap  on  the  looking-glass  that  hung 
upon  the  wall,  followed  instantly  by  another. 

"Gracious!"  said  she;  "what's  that?  I  hope  the  glass 
isn't  fractioned,  for  it  is  a  sure  sign  of  calamity,  and 


22 


B.    P.    SHILLABER 

mercy  knows  they  come  along  full  fast  enough  without 
helping  'em  by  breaking  looking-glasses." 

There  was  another  tap,  and  she  caught  sight  of  a  white 
bean  that  fell  on  the  floor;  and  there,  reflected  in  the 
glass,  was  the  face  of  Ike,  who  was  blowing  beans  at  the 
mirror  through  a  crack  in  the  door. 

XXI 

"As  for  the  Chinese  question,"  said  Mrs.  Partington, 
reflectively,  holding  her  spoon  at  "present,"  while  the  va- 
por of  her  cup  of  tea  curled  about  her  face,  which  shone 
through  it  like  the  moon  through  a  mist,  "it  is  a  great  pity 
that  somebody  don't  answer  it,  though  who  under  the  can- 
ister of  heaven  can  do  it,  with  sich  letters  as  they  have  on 
their  tea-chists,  is  more  than  I  can  tell.  It  is  really  too 
bad,  though,  that  some  lingister  doesn't  try  it,  and  not 
have  this  provoking  question  asked  all  the  time,  as  if  we 
were  ignoramuses,  and  did  not  know  Toolong  from  No 
Strong,  and  there  never  was  sich  a  thing  as  the  seventh 
commandment,  which,  Heaven  knows,  suits  this  case  to  a 
T,  and  I  hope  the  breakers  of  it  may  escape,  but  I  don't 
see  how  they  can.  The  question  must  be  answered,  unless 
it  is  like  a  cannondrum,  to  be  given  up,  which  nobody  of 
any  spirit  should  do." 

She  brought  the  spoon  down  into  the  cup,  and  looked 
out  through  the  windows  of  her  soul  into  celestial  fields, 
peopled  with  pig-tails,  that  were  all  in  her  eye,  while  Ike 
took  a  double  charge  of  sugar  for  his  tea,  and  gave  an 
extra  allowance  of  milk  to  the  kitten. 


Vol.  1—4  23 


THE  MENAGERIE 


BY   WILLIAM    VAUGHN    MOODY 

Thank  God  my  brain  is  not  inclined  to  cut 
Such  capers  every  day !  I'm  just  about 

Mellow,  but  then —  There  goes  the  tent  flap  shut. 
Rain 's  in  the  wind.  I  thought  so :  every  snout 
Was  twitching  when  the  keeper  turned  me  out. 

That  screaming  parrot  makes  my  blood  run  cold. 

Gabriel's  trump !  the  big  bull  elephant 
Squeals  "Rain !"  to  the  parched  herd.   The  monkeys 
scold, 

And  jabber  that  it 's  rain-water  they  want. 

( It  makes  me  sick  to  see  a  monkey  pant. ) 

I'll  foot  it  home,  to  try  and  make  believe 
I'm  sober.  After  this  I  stick  to  beer, 

And  drop  the  circus  when  the  sane  folks  leave. 
A  man's  a  fool  to  look  at  things  too  near : 
They  look  back  and  begin  to  cut  up  queer. 

Beasts  do,  at  any  rate ;  especially 

Wild  devils  caged.  They  have  the  coolest  way 

Of  being  something  else  than  what  you  see : 
You  pass  a  sleek  young  zebra  nosing  hay, 
A  nylghau  looking  bored  and  distingue, — 

24 


WILLIAM    VAUGHN    MOODY 

And  think  you've  seen  a  donkey  and  a  bird. 

Not  on  your  life !  Just  glance  back,  if  you  dare. 
The  zebra  chews,  the  nylghau  has  n't  stirred ; 

But  something's  happened,  Heaven  knows  what  or 
where, 

To  freeze  your  scalp  and  pompadour  your  hair. 

I'm  not  precisely  an  seolian  lute 

Hung  in  the  wandering  winds  of  sentiment, 

But  drown  me  if  the  ugliest,  meanest  brute 
Grunting  and  fretting  in  that  sultry  tent 
Did  n't  just  floor  me  with  embarrassment ! 

'T  was  like  a  thunder-clap  from  out  the  clear — 
One  minute  they  were  circus  beasts,  some  grand, 

Some  ugly,  some  amusing,  and  some  queer : 
Rival  attractions  to  the  hobo  band, 
The  flying  jenny,  and  the  peanut-stand. 

Next  minute  they  were  old  hearth-mates  of  mine ! 
Lost  people,  eyeing  me  with  such  a  stare ! 

Patient,  satiric,  devilish,  divine; 

A  gaze  of  hopeless  envy,  squalid  care, 
Hatred,  and  thwarted  love,  and  dim  despair. 

Within  my  blood  my  ancient  kindred  spoke — 
Grotesque  and  monstrous  voices,  heard  afar 

Down  ocean  caves  when  behemoth  awoke, 
Or  through  fern  forests  roared  the  plesiosaur 
Locked  with  the  giant-bat  in  ghastly  war. 

And  suddenly,  as  in  a  flash  of  light, 

I  saw  great  Nature  working  out  her  plan ; 

Through  all  her  shapes,  from  mastodon  to  mite, 
Forever  groping,  testing,  passing  on 
To  find  at  last  the  shape  and  soul  of  Man. 

25 


THE    MENAGERIE 

Till  in  the  fullness  of  accomplished  time, 

Comes  brother  Forepaugh,  upon  business  bent, 

Tracks  her  through  frozen  and  through  torrid  clime. 
And  shows  us,  neatly  labeled  in  a  tent, 
The  stages  of  her  huge  experiment ; 

Babbling  aloud  her  shy  and  reticent  hours ; 

Dragging  to  light  her  blinking,  slothful  moods ; 

Publishing  fretful  seasons  when  her  powers 
Worked  wild  and  sullen  in  her  solitudes, 
Or  when  her  mordant  laughter  shook  the  woods. 

Here,  round  about  me,  were  her  vagrant  births ; 
Sick  dreams  she  had,  fierce  projects  she  essayed ; 

Her  qualms,  her  fiery  prides,  her  craze  mirths ; 
The  troublings  of  her  spirit  as  she  strayed, 
Cringed,  gloated,  mocked,  was  lordly,  was  afraid. 

On  that  long  road  she  went  to  seek  mankind ; 
Here  were  the  darkling  coverts  that  she  beat 

To  find  the  Hider  she  was  sent  to  find ; 
Here  the  distracted  footprints  of  her  feet 
Whereby  her  soul's  Desire  she  came  to  greet. 

But  why  should  they,  her  botch-work,  turn  about 
And  stare  disdain  at  me,  her  finished  job  ? 

Why  was  the  place  one  vast  suspended  shout 
Of  laughter?  Why  did  all  the  daylight  throb 
With  soundless  guffaw  and  dumb-stricken  sob  ? 


&' 


Helpless  I  stood  among  those  awful  cages; 

The  beasts  were  walking  loose,  and  I  was  bagged ! 

I,  I,  last  product  of  the  toiling  ages, 

Goal  of  heroic  feet  that  never  lagged — 
A  little  man  in  trousers,  slightly  jagged. 

26 


WILLIAM    VAUGHN    MOODY 

Deliver  me  from  such  another  jury ! 
The  Judgment-day  will  be  a  picnic  to  't. 

Their  satire  was  more  dreadful  than  their  fury, 
And  worst  of  all  was  just  a  kind  of  brute 
Disgust,  and  giving  up,  and  sinking  mute. 

Survival  of  the  fittest  adaptation, 
And  all  their  other  evolution  terms, 

Seem  to  omit  one  small  consideration, 
To  wit,  that  tumblebugs  and  angleworms 
Have   souls :    there   's    soul    in    everything   that 
squirms. 

And  souls  are  restless,  plagued,  impatient  things, 
All  dream  and  unaccountable  desire ; 

Crawling,  but  pestered  with  the  thought  of  wings ; 
Spreading  through  every  inch  of  earth's  old  mire, 
Mystical  hanker  after  something  higher. 

Wishes  are  horses,  as  I  understand. 

I  guess  a  wistful  polyp  that  has  strokes 
Of  feeling  faint  to  gallivant  on  land 

Will  come  to  be  a  scandal  to  his  folk; 

Legs  he  will  sprout,  in  spite  of  threats  and  jokes. 

And  at  the  core  of  every  life  that  crawls 
Or  runs  or  flies  or  swims  or  vegetates — 

Churning  the  mammoth's  heart-blood,  in  the  galls 
Of  shark  and  tiger  planting  gorgeous  hates, 
Lighting  the  love  of  eagles  for  their  mates ; 

Yes,  in  the  dim  brain  of  the  jellied  fish 

That  is  and  is  not  living — moved  and  stirred 

From  the  beginning*  a  mysterious  wish, 
A  vision,  a  command,  a  fatal  Word : 
The  name  of  Man  was  uttered,  and  they  heard. 

27 


THE    MENAGERIE 

Upward  along  the  aeons  of  old  war 

They  sought  him :  wing  and  shank-bone,  claw  and 
bill, 
Were  fashioned  and  rejected ;  wide  and  far 

They  roamed  the  twilight  jungles  of  their  will ; 

But  still  they  sought  him,  and  desired  him  still. 

Man  they  desired,  but  mind  you,  Perfect  Man, 
The  radiant  and  the  loving,  yet  to  be ! 

I  hardly  wonder,  when  they  come  to  scan 
The  upshot  of  their  strenuosity, 
They  gazed  with  mixed  emotions  upon  me. 

Well,  my  advice  to  you  is,  Face  the  creatures, 
Or  spot  them  sideways  with  your  weather  eye, 

Just  to  keep  tab  on  their  expansive  features ; 
It  is  n't  pleasant  when  you  're  stepping  high 
To  catch  a  giraffe  smiling  on  the  sly. 

If  Nature  made  you  graceful,  don't  get  gay 

Back-to  before  the  hippopotamus ; 
If  meek  and  godly,  find  some  place  to  play 

Besides  right  where  three  mad  hyenas  fuss ; 

You  may  hear  language  that  we  won't  discuss. 

If  you  're  a  sweet  thing  in  a  flower-bed  hat, 
Or  her  best  fellow  with  your  tie  tucked  in, 

Don't  squander  love's  bright  springtime  girding  at 
An  old  chimpanzee  with  an  Irish  chin : 
There  may  be  hidden  meaning  in  his  grin. 


28 


DOWN  AROUND  THE  RIVER 

BY   JAMES    WHITCOMB   RILEY 

Noon-time  and  June-time,  down  around  the  river ! 
Have  to  furse  with  'Lizey  Ann — but  lawzy!    I  fergive 

her! 
Drives  me  off  the  place,  and  says  'at  all  'at  she's  a-wishin', 
Land  o'  gracious !  time'll  come  I'll  git  enough  o'  fishin' ! 
Little  Dave,  a-choppin'  wood,  never  'pears  to  notice ; 
Don't  know  where  she's  hid  his  hat,  er  keerin'  where  his 

coat  is, — 
Specalatin',  more'n  like,  he  haint  a-goin'  to  mind  me, 
And  guessin'  where,  say  twelve  o'clock,  a  feller'd  likely 

find  me. 

Noon-time  and  June-time,  down  around  the  river ! 
Clean  out  o'  sight  o'  home,  and  skulkin'  under  kivver 
Of  the  sycamores,  jack-oaks,  and  swamp-ash  and  ellum — 
Idies  all  so  jumbled  up,  you  kin  hardly  tell  'em! — 
Tired,  you  know,  but  lovin'  it,  and  smilin'  jest  to  think  'at 
Any  sweeter  tiredness  you'd  fairly  want  to  drink  it. 
Tired  o'  fishin' — tired  o'  fun — line  out  slack  and  slacker — 
All  you  want  in  all  the  world's  a  little  more  tobacker ! 

Hungry,  but  a-hidin'  it,  er  jes'  a-not  a-keerin' : — 
Kingfisher  gittin'  up  and  skootin'  out  o'  hearin' ; 
Snipes  on  the  t'other  side,  where  the  County  Ditch  is, 
Wadin'  up  and  down  the  aidge  like  they'd  rolled  their 
britches ! 

29 


DOWN    AROUND    THE    RIVER 

Old  turkle  on  the  root  kindo-sorto  drappin' 

Intoo  th'  worter  like  he  don't  know  how  it  happen ! 

Worter,  shade  and  all  so  mixed,  don't  know  which  you'd 

orter 
Say,  th*  worter  in  the  shadder — shadder  in  the  zvorter! 

Somebody  hollerin' — 'way  around  the  bend  in 
Upper  Fork — where  yer  eye  kin  jes'  ketch  the  endin' 
Of  the  shiney  wedge  o'  wake  some  muss-rat's  a-makin' 
With  that  pesky  nose  o'  his !    Then  a  sniff  o'  bacon, 
Corn-bread  and  'dock-greens — and  little  Dave  a-shinnin' 
'Crost  the  rocks  and  mussel-shells,  a-limpin'  and  a-grin- 

nin', 
With  yer  dinner  fer  ye,  and  a  blessin'  from  the  giver. 
Noon-time  and  June-time  down  around  the  river ! 


10 


A  MEDIEVAL  DISCOVERER 

BY    BILL    NYE 

Galilei,  commonly  called  Galileo,  was  born  at  Pisa  on 
the  14th  day  of  February,  1564.  He  was  the  man  who 
discovered  some  of  the  fundamental  principles  governing 
the  movements,  habits,  and  personal  peculiarities  of  the 
earth.  He  discovered  things  with  marvelous  fluency. 
Born  as  he  was,  at  a  time  when  the  rotary  motion  of  the 
earth  was  still  in  its  infancy  and  astronomy  was  taught 
only  in  a  crude  way,  Galileo  started  in  to  make  a  few 
discoveries  and  advance  some  theories  which  he  loved. 

He  was  the  son  of  a  musician  and  learned  to  play 
several  instruments  himself,  but  not  in  such  a  way  as  to 
arouse  the  jealousy  of  the  great  musicians  of  his  day. 
They  came  and  heard  him  play  a  few  selections,  and 
then  they  went  home  contented  with  their  own  music. 
Galileo  played  for  several  years  in  a  band  at  Pisa,  and 
people  who  heard  him  said  that  his  manner  of  gazing 
out  over  the  Pisan  hills  with  a  far-away  look  in  his  eye 
after  playing  a  selection,  while  he  gently  up-ended  his 
alto  horn  and  worked  the  mud-valve  as  he  poured  out 
about  a  pint  of  moist  melody  that  had  accumulated  in 
the  flues  of  the  instrument,  was  simply  grand. 

At  the  age  of  twenty  Galileo  began  to  discover.  His 
first  discoveries  were,  of  course,  clumsy  and  poorly  made, 
but  very  soon  he  commenced  to  turn  out  neat  and  durable 
discoveries  that  would  stand  for  years. 

It  was  at  this  time  that  he  noticed  the  swinging  of  a 
lamp  in  a  church,  and,  observing  that  the  oscillations 
were  of  equal  duration,  he  inferred  that  this  principle 
might  be  utilized  in  the  exact  measurement  of  time. 

31 


A    MEDIEVAL    DISCOVERER 

From  this  little  accident,  years  after,  came  the  clock,  one 
of  the  most  useful  of  man's  dumb  friends.  And  yet  there 
are  people  who  will  read  this  little  incident  and  still  hesi- 
tate about  going  to  church. 

Galileo  also  invented  the  thermometer,  the  microscope 
and  the  proportional  compass.  He  seemed  to  invent  things 
not  for  the  money  to  be  obtained  in  that  way,  but  solely 
for  the  joy  of  being  first  on  the  ground.  He  was  a  man 
of  infinite  genius  and  perseverance.  He  was  also  very 
fair  in  his  treatment  of  other  inventors.  Though  he  did 
not  personally  invent  the  rotary  motion  of  the  earth,  he 
heartily  indorsed  it  and  said  it  was  a  good  thing.  He 
also  came  out  in  a  card  in  which  he  said  that  he  believed 
it  to  be  a  good  thing,  and  that  he  hoped  some  day  to  see 
it  applied  to  the  other  planets. 

He  was  also  the  inventor  of  a  telescope  that  had  a 
magnifying  power  of  thirty  times.  He  presented  this  to 
the  Venetian  senate,  and  it  was  used  in  making  appropria- 
tions for  river  and  harbor  improvements. 

By  telescopic  investigation  Galileo  discovered  the  pres- 
ence of  microbes  in  the  moon,  but  was  unable  to  do  any- 
thing for  it.  I  have  spoken  of  Mr.  Galileo,  informally 
calling  him  by  his  first  name,  all  the  way  through  this 
article,  for  I  feel  so  thoroughly  acquainted  with  him, 
though  there  was  such  a  striking  difference  in  our  ages, 
that  I  think  I  am  justified  in  using  his  given  name  while 
talking  of  him. 

Galileo  also  sat  up  nights  and  visited  with  Venus 
through  a  long  telescope  which  he  had  made  himself  from 
an  old  bamboo  fishing-rod. 

But  astronomy  is  a  very  enervating  branch  of  science. 
Galileo  frequently  came  down  to  breakfast  with  red, 
heavy  eyes,  eyes  that  were  swollen  full  of  unshed  tears. 
Still  he  persevered.  Day  after  day  he  worked  and  toiled. 

32 


BILL    NYE 

Year  after  year  he  went  on  with  his  task  till  he  had 
worked  out  in  his  own  mind  the  satellites  of  Jupiter  and 
placed  a  small  tin  tag  on  each  one,  so  that  he  would  know 
it  readily  when  he  saw  it  again.  Then  he  began  to  look 
up  Saturn's  rings  and  investigate  the  freckles  on  the  sun. 
He  did  not  stop  at  trifles,  but  went  bravely  on  till  every- 
body came  for  miles  to  look  at  him  and  get  him  to  write 
something  funny  in  their  autograph  albums.  It  was  not  an 
unusual  thing  for  Galileo  to  get  up  in  the  morning,  after 
a  wearisome  night  with  a  fretful,  new-born  star,  to  find 
his  front  yard  full  of  albums.  Some  of  them  were  little 
red  albums  with  floral  decorations  on  them,  while  others 
were  the  large  plush  and  alligator  albums  of  the  affluent. 
Some  were  new  and  had  the  j>rice-mark  still  on  them, 
while  others  were  old,  foundered  albums,  with  a  droop 
in  the  back  and  little  flecks  of  egg  and  gravy  on  the  title- 
page.  All  came  with  a  request  for  Galileo  "to  write  a  lit- 
tle, witty,  characteristic  sentiment  in  them." 

Galileo  was  the  author  of  the  hydrostatic  paradox  and 
other  sketches.  He  was  a  great  reader  and  a  fluent  pen- 
man. One  time  he  was  absent  from  home,  lecturing  in 
Venice  for  the  benefit  of  the  United  Aggregation  of 
Mutual  Admirers,  and  did  not  return  for  two  weeks,  so 
that  when  he  got  back  he  found  the  front  room  full  of  au- 
tograph albums.  It  is  said  that  he  then  demonstrated  his 
great  fluency  and  readiness  as  a  thinker  and  writer.  He 
waded  through  the  entire  lot  in  two  days  with  only  two 
men  from  West  Pisa  to  assist  him.  Galileo  came  out  of 
it  fresh  and  youthful,  and  all  of  the  following  night  he 
was  closeted  with  another  inventor,  a  wicker-covered 
microscope,  and  a  bologna  sausage.  The  investigations 
were  carried  on  for  two  weeks,  after  which  Galileo  went 
out  to  the  inebriate  asylum  and  discovered  some  new 
styles  of  reptiles. 

33 


A    MEDIEVAL    DISCOVERER 

Galileo  was  the  author  of  a  little  work  called  "I  Discarsi 
e  Dimas-Trazioni  Matematiche  Intorus  a  Due  Muove 
Scienze."  It  was  a  neat  little  book  of  about  the  medium 
height,  and  sold  well  on  the  trains,  for  the  Pisan  news- 
boys on  the  cars  were  very  affable,  as  they  are  now,  and 
when  they  came  and  leaned  an  armful  of  these  books  on 
a  passenger's  leg  and  poured  into  his  ear  a  long  tale  about 
the  wonderful  beauty  of  the  work,  and  then  pulled  in  the 
name  of  the  book  from  the  rear  of  the  last  car,  where  it 
'had  been  hanging  on  behind,  the  passenger  would  most 
always  buy  it  and  enough  of  the  name  to  wrap  it  up  in. 

He  also  discovered  the  isochronism  of  the  pendulum. 
He  saw  that  the  pendulum  at  certain  seasons  of  the  year 
looked  yellow  under  the  eyes,  and  that  it  drooped  and  did 
not  enter  into  its  work  with  the  old  zest.  He  began  to 
study  the  case  with  the  aid  of  his  new  bamboo  telescope 
and  a  wicker-covered  microscope.  As  a  result,  in  ten  days 
he  had  the  pendulum  on  its  feet  again. 

Galileo  was  inclined  to  be  liberal  in  his  religious  views, 
more  especially  in  the  matter  of  the  Scriptures,  claiming 
that  there  were  passages  in  the  Bible  which  did  not  liter- 
ally mean  what  the  translator  said  they  did.  This  was 
where  Galileo  missed  it.  So  long  as  he  discovered  stars 
and  isochronisms  and  such  things  as  that,  he  succeeded, 
but  when  He  began  to  fool  with  other  people's  religious 
beliefs  he  got  into  trouble.  He  was  forced  to  fly  from 
Pisa,  we  are  told  by  the  historian,  and  we  are  assured  at 
the  same  time  that  Galileo,  who  had  always  been  far,  far 
ahead  of  all  competitors  in  other  things,  was  equally  suc- 
cessful as  a  fleer. 

Galileo  received  but  sixty  scudi  per  year  as  his  salary 
while  at  Pisa,  and  a  part  of  that  he  took  in  town  prders, 
worth  only  sixty  cents  on  the  scudi. 


34 


WANTED— A  COOK 


BY    ALAN    DALE 


There  was  a  ring  at  the  front  door-bell.  Letitia, 
wrought-up,  nervously  clutched  my  arm.  For  a  moment 
a  sort  of  paralysis  seized  me.  Then,  alertly  as  a  young 
calf,  I  bounded  toward  the  door,  hope  aroused,  and  ex- 
pectation keen.  It  was  rather  dark  in  the  outside  hall,  and 
I  could  not  quite  perceive  the  nature  of  our  visitor.  But 
I  soon  gladly  realized  that  it  was  something  feminine,  and 
as  I  held  the  door  open,  a  thin,  small,  soiled  wisp  of  a 
woman  glided  in  and  smiled  at  me. 

"Talar  ni  svcnsk?"  she  asked,  but  I  had  no  idea  what 
she  meant.  She  may  have  been  impertinent,  or  even  rude, 
or  perhaps  improper,  but  she  looked  as  though  she  might 
be  a  domestic,  and  I  led  her  gently,  reverently,  to  Letitia 
in  the  drawing-room.  I  smiled  back  at  her,  in  a  wild  en- 
deavor to  be  sympathetic.  I  would  have  anointed  her,  or 
bathed  her  feet,  or  plied  her  with  figs  and  dates,  or  have 
done  anything  that  any  nationality  craves  as  a  welcome. 
As  the  front  door  closed  I  heaved  a  sigh  of  relief.  Here 
was  probably  the  quintessence  of  five  advertisements. 
Out  of  the  mountain  crept  a  mouse,  and  quite  a  little 
mouse,  too! 

"Talar  ni  svenskf"  proved  to  be  nothing  more  out- 
rageous than  "Do  you  speak  Swedish  ?"  My  astute  little 
wife  discovered  this  intuitively.  I  left  them  together, 
my  mental  excuse  being  that  women  understand  each 
other  and  that  a  man  is  unnecessary,  under  the  circum- 

35 


WANTED— A    COOK 

stances.  I  had  some  misgivings  on  the  subject  of  Letitia 
and  svensk,  but  the  universal  language  of  femininity  is 
not  without  its  uses.  I  devoutly  hoped  that  Letitia  would 
be  able  to  come  to  terms,  as  the  mere  idea  of  a  cook  who 
couldn't  excoriate  us  in  English  was,  at  that  moment, 
delightful.  At  the  end  of  a  quarter  of  an  hour  I  strolled 
back  to  the  drawing-room.  Letitia  was  smiling  and  the 
hand-maiden  sat  grim  and  uninspired. 

"I've  engaged  her,  Archie,"  said  Letitia.  "She  knows 
nothing,  as  she  has  told  me  in  the  few  words  of  English 
that  she  has  picked  up,  but — you  remember  what  Aunt 
Julia  said  about  a  clean  slate." 

I  gazed  at  the  maiden,  and  reflected  that  while  the  term 
"slate"  might  be  perfectly  correct,  the  adjective  seemed 
a  bit  over-enthusiastic.  She  was  decidely  soiled,  this 
quintessence  of  a  quintette  of  advertisements.  I  said 
nothing,  anxious  not  to  dampen  Letitia's  elation. 

"She  has  no  references,"  continued  my  wife,  "as  she 
has  never  been  out  before.  She  is  just  a  simple  little 
Stockholm  girl.  I  like  her  face  immensely,  Archie — im- 
mensely. She  is  willing  to  begin  at  once,  which  shows 
that  she  is  eager,  and  consequently  likely  to  suit  us.  Wait 
for  me,  Archie,  while  I  take  her  to  the  kitchen.  Kom, 
Gerda." 

Exactly  why  Letitia  couldn't  say  "Come,  Gerda," 
seemed  strange.  She  probably  thought  that  Kom  must 
be  Swedish,  and  that  it  sounded  well.  She  certainly  in- 
vented Kom  on  the  spur  of  the  Scandinavian  moment, 
and  I  learned  afterward  that  it  was  correct.  My  inspired 
Letitia!  Still,  in  spite  of  all,  my  opinion  is  that  "Come, 
Gerda,"  would  have  done  just  as  well. 

"Isn't  it  delightful?"  cried  Letitia,  when  she  joined 
me  later.  "I  am  really  enthusiastic  at  the  idea  of  a 
Swedish  girl.    I  adore  Scandinavia,  Archie.    It  always 

36 


ALAN    DALE 

makes  me  think  of  Ibsen.  Perhaps  Gerda  Lyberg — that's 
her  name — will  be  as  interesting  as  Hedda  Gabler,  and 
Mrs.  Alving,  and  Xora,  and  all  those  lovely  complex 
Ibsen  creatures.'' 

"They  were  Norwegians,  dear,"  I  said  gently,  anxious 
not  to  shatter  illusions ;  "the  Ibsen  plays  deal  with  Chris- 
tiania,  not  with  Stockholm." 

"But  they  are  so  near,"  declared  Letitia,  amiable  and 
seraphic  once  more.  "Somehow  or  other,  I  invariably 
mix  up  Norway  and  Sweden  and  Denmark.  I  know  I 
shall  always  look  upon  Gerda  as  an  Ibsen  girl,  who  has 
come  here  to  'live  her  life,'  or  'work  out  her  inheritance.' 
Perhaps,  dear,  she  has  some  interesting  internal  disease, 
or  a  maggoty  brain.  Don't  you  think.  Archie,  that  the 
Ibsen  inheritances  are  always  most  fascinating?  A  bit 
morbid,  but  surely  fascinating." 

"I  prefer  a  healthy  cook,  Letitia,"  I  said  meditatively, 
"somebody  willing  to  interest  herself  in  our  inheritance, 
rather  than  in  her  own." 

"I  don't  mind  what  you  say  now,"  she  pouted,  "I  am 
not  to  be  put  down  by  clamor.  We  really  have  a  cook  at 
last,  and  I  feel  more  lenient  toward  you,  Archie.  Oi 
course  I  was  only  joking  when  I  suggested  the  Ibsen 
diseases.  Gerda  Lyberg  may  have  inherited  from  her  an- 
cestors something  quite  nice  and  attractive." 

"Then  you  mustn't  look  upon  her  as  Ibsen,  Letitia,"  I 
protested.  "The  Ibsen  people  never  inherit  nice  things. 
Their  ancestors  always  bequeath  nasty  ones.  That  is 
where  their  consistency  comes  in.  They  are  receptacles 
for  horrors.  Personally,  if  you'll  excuse  my  flippancy, 
I  prefer  Norwegian  anchovies  to  Norwegian  heroines.  It 
is  a  mere  matter  of  opinion." 

"I'm  ashamed  of  you,"  retorted  Letitia  defiantly.  "You 
talk  like  some  of  the  wretchedly  frivolous  criticisms,  so 

37 


WANTED— A    COOK 

called,  that  men  like  Acton  Davies  and  Alan  Dale  inflict 
upon  the  long-suffering  public.  They  never  amuse  me. 
Ibsen  may  make  his  heroines  the  recipients  of  ugly  lega- 
cies, but  he  has  never  yet  cursed  them  with  the  odious 
incubus  known  as  'a  sense  of  humor.'  The  people  with  a 
sense  of  humor  have  something  in  their  brains  worse  than 
maggots.  We'll  drop  the  subject,  Archie.  I'm  going  to 
learn  Swedish.  Before  Gerda  Lyberg  has  been  with  us  a 
month  I  intend  to  be  able  to  talk  fluently.  It  will  be  most 
useful.  Next  time  we  go  to  Europe  we'll  take  in  Sweden, 
and  I'll  do  the  piloting.  I  am  going  to  buy  some  Swedish 
books,  and  study.  Won't  it  be  jolly?  And  just  think  how 
melancholy  we  were  this  morning,  you  and  I,  looking 
out  of  that  window,  and  trying  to  materialize  cooks. 
Wasn't  it  funny,  Archie?  What  amusing  experiences  we 
shall  be  able  to  chronicle,  later  on !" 

Letitia  babbled  on  like  half  a  dozen  brooks,  and  think- 
ing up  a  gentle  parody,  in  the  shape  of,  "cooks  may  come, 
and  men  may  go,"  I  decided  to  leave  my  household  gods 
for  the  bread-earning  contest  down-town.  I  could  not 
feel  quite  as  sanguine  as  Letitia,  who  seemed  to  have  for- 
gotten the  dismal  results  of  the  advertisement — just  one 
little  puny  Swedish  result.  I  should  have  preferred  to 
make  a  choice.  Letitia  was  as  pleased  with  Gerda  Lyberg 
as  though  she  had  been  a  selection  instead  of  a  that-or- 
nothing. 

If  somebody  had  dramatized  Gerda  Lyberg's  initial 
dinner,  it  would  probably  have  been  considered  exceed- 
ingly droll.  As  a  serious  episode,  however,  its  humor,  to 
my  mind,  lacked  spontaneity.  Letitia  had  asked  her  to 
cook  us  a  little  Swedish  meal,  so  that  we  could  get  some 
idea  of  Stockholm  life,  in  which,  for  some  reason  or 
other,  we  were  supposed  to  be  deeply  interested.  Un- 
fortunately I  was  extremely  hungry,  and  had  carefully 

38 


ALAN    DALE 

avoided  luncheon  in  order  to  give  my  appetite  a  chance. 
We  sat  down  to  a  huge  bowl  of  cold,  greasy  soup,  in 
which  enormous  lumps  of  meat  swam,  as  though  for  their 
life,  awaiting  rescue  at  the  prongs  of  a  fork.  In  addition 
to  this  epicurean  dish  was  a  teeming  plate  of  water- 
soaked  potatoes,  delicately  boiled.  That  was  all.  Letitia 
said  that  it  was  Swedish,  and  the  most  annoying  part  of 
the  entertainment  was  that  I  was  alone  in  my  critical  dis- 
approbation. Letitia  was  so  engrossed  with  a  little 
Swedish  conversation  book  that  she  brought  to  table  that 
she  forgot  the  mere  material  question  of  food — forgot 
everything  but  the  horrible  jargon  she  was  studying,  and 
the  soiled,  wisp-like  maiden,  who  looked  more  unlike  a 
clean  slate  than  ever. 

"What  shall  I  say  to  her,  Archie  ?"  asked  Letitia,  turn- 
ing over  the  pages  of  her  book,  as  I  tried  to  rescue  a  block 
of  meat  from  the  cold  fat  in  which  it  lurked.  "Here  is  a 
chapter  on  dinner.  'I  am  very  hungry/  'Jag  ar  myckel 
hungrig.'  Rather  pretty,  isn't  it  ?  Hark  at  this :  'Kypare 
gif  mig  matsedeln  och  vinlistan.'  That  means :  'Waiter, 
give  me  the  bill  of  fare,  and  the  list  of  wines.'  " 

"Don't,"  I  cried;  "don't.  This  woman  doesn't  know 
what  dining  means.  Look  out  a  chapter  on  feeding." 

Letitia  was  perfectly  unruffled.  She  paid  no  attention 
to  me  whatsoever.  She  was  fascinated  with  the  slovenly 
girl,  who  stood  around  and  gaped  at  her  Swedish. 

"Gerda,"  said  Letitia,  with  her  eyes  on  the  book,  "Gif 
mir  apven  senap  och  n'dgra  potater"  And  then,  as  Miss 
Lyberg  dived  for  the  drowned  potatoes,  Letitia  exclaimed 
in  an  ecstasy  of  joy,  "She  understands,  Archie,  she  un- 
derstands. I  feel  I  am  going  to  be  a  great  success.  Jag 
tackar,  Gerda.  That  means  'I  thank  you,'  Jag  tackar. 
See  if  you  can  say  it,  Archie.  Just  try,  dear,  to  oblige  me. 
Jag  tackar.  Now,  that's  a  good  boy,  jag  tackar/' 

Vol.  l—s  39 


WANTED— A    COOK 

"I  won't/'  I  declared  spitefully.  "No  jag  tackaring 
for  a  parody  like  this,  Letitia.  You  don't  seem  to  realize 
that  I'm  hungry.  Honestly,  I  prefer  a  delicatessen  din- 
ner to  this." 

"  'Pray,  give  me  a  piece  of  venison,' "  read  Letitia,  ab- 
solutely disregarding  my  mood.  "  'Var  god  och  gif  mig 
ett  stycke  vildtf  It  is  almost  intelligible,  isn't  it,  dear  ?  (Ni 
dter  icke* :  you  do  not  eat." 

"I  can't,"  I  asserted  mournfully,  anxious  to  gain  Leti- 
tia's  sympathy. 

It  was  not  forthcoming.  Letitia' s  eyes  were  fastened 
on  Gerda,  and  I  could  not  help  noting  on  the  woman's 
face  an  expression  of  scorn.  I  felt  certain  of  it.  She  ap- 
peared to  regard  my  wife  as  a  sort  of  irresponsible  freak, 
and  I  was  vexed  to  think  that  Letitia  should  make  such 
an  exhibition  of  herself,  and  countenance  the  alleged  meal 
that  was  set  before  us. 

"  'I  have  really  dined  very  well,'  "  she  continued  joy- 
ously.  "Jag  har  verkligen  atit  mycket  bra!  " 

"If  you  are  quite  sure  that  she  doesn't  understand 
English,  Letitia,"  I  said  viciously,  "I'll  say  to  you  that 
this  is  a  kind  of  joke  I  don't  appreciate.  I  won't  keep 
such  a  woman  in  the  house.  Let  us  put  on  our  things  and 
go  out  and  have  dinner.  Better  late  than  never." 

Letitia  was  turning  over  the  pages  of  her  book,  quite 
lost  to  her  surroundings.  As  I  concluded  my  remarks  she 
looked  up  and  exclaimed,  "How  very  funny,  Archie. 
Just  as  you  said  'Better  late  than  never,'  I  came  across 
that  very  phrase  in  the  list  of  Swedish  proverbs.  It  must 
be  telepathy,  dear.  'Better  late  than  never,'  'Battre  sent 
an  aldrig.'  What  were  you  saying  on  the  subject,  dear? 
Will  you  repeat  it  ?  And  do  try  it  in  Swedish.  Say  'Battre 
sent  an  aldrig/  " 

"Letitia,"  I  shot  forth  in  a  fury,  "I'm  not  in  the  humor 

40 


ALAN    DALE 

for  this  sort  of  thing.  I  think  this  dinner  and  this  woman 
are  rotten.  See  if  you  can  find  the  word  rotten  in 
Swedish." 

"I  am  surprised  at  you,"  Letitia  declared  glacially, 
roused  from  her  book  by  my  heroic  though  unparliament- 
ary language.  "Your  expressions  are  neither  English  nor 
Swedish.  Please  don't  use  such  gutter-words  before  a 
servant,  to  say  nothing  of  your  own  wife." 

"But  she  doesn't  understand,"  I  protested,  glancing  at 
Miss  Lyberg.  I  could  have  sworn  that  I  detected  a  gleam 
in  the  woman's  eyes  and  that  the  sphinx-like  attitude  of 
dull  incomprehensibility  suggested  a  strenuous  effort. 
"She  doesn't  understand  anything.  She  doesn't  want  to 
understand." 

"In  a  week  from  now,"  said  Letitia,  "she  will  under- 
stand everything  perfectly,  for  I  shall  be  able  to  talk 
with  her.  Oh,  Archie,  do  be  agreeable.  Can't  you  see 
that  I  am  having  great  fun  ?  Don't  be  such  a  greedy  boy. 
If  you  could  only  enter  into  the  spirit  of  the  thing,  you 
wouldn't  be  so  oppressed  by  the  food  question.  Oh,  dear ! 
How  important  it  does  seem  to  be  to  men.  Gerda,  hur 
gammal  dr  ni?" 

The  maiden  sullenly  left  the  room,  and  I  felt  convinced 
that  Letitia  had  Swedishly  asked  her  to  do  so.  I  was 
wrong.  "Hur  gammal  dr  ni"  Letitia  explained,  simply 
meant,  "How  old  are  you  ?" 

"She  evidently  didn't  want  to  tell  me,"  was  my  wife's 
comment,  as  we  went  to  the  drawing-room.  "I  imagine, 
dear,  that  she  doesn't  quite  like  the  idea  of  my  ferreting 
out  Swedish  so  persistently.  But  I  intend  to  persevere. 
The  worst  of  conversation  books  is  that  one  acquires  a 
language  in  such  a  parroty  way.  Now,  in  my  book,  the 
only  answer  to  the  question  'How  old  are  you?'  is,  T 
was  born  on  the  tenth  of  August,  1852.'   For  the  life  of 

4i 


WANTED— A    COOK 

me,  I  couldn't  vary  that,  and  it  would  be  most  embarrass- 
ing. It  would  make  me  fifty-two.  If  any  one  asked  me  in 
Swedish  how  old  I  was,  I  should  have  to  be  fifty-two!'* 

"When  I  think  of  my  five  advertisements,"  I  said 
lugubriously,  as  I  threw  myself  into  an  arm-chair, 
fatigued  at  my  efforts  to  discover  dinner,  "when  I  re- 
member our  expectation,  and  the  pleasant  anticipations 
of  to-day,  I  feel  very  bitter,  Letitia.  Just  to  think  that 
from  it  all  nothing  has  resulted  but  that  beastly  mummy, 
that  atrocious  ossified  thing." 

"Archie,  Archie!"  said  my  wife  warningly;  "please  be 
calm.  Perhaps  I  was  too  engrossed  with  my  studies  to 
note  the  deficiencies  of  dinner.  But  do  remember  that  I 
pleaded  with  her  for  a  Swedish  meal.  The  poor  thing  did 
what  I  asked  her  to  do.  Our  dinner  was  evidently  Swe- 
dish. It  was  not  her  fault  that  I  asked  for  it.  To-morrow, 
dear,  it  shall  be  different.  We  had  better  stick  to  the 
American  regime.  It  is  more  satisfactory  to  you.  At  any 
rate,  we  have  somebody  in  the  house,  and  if  our  five  ad- 
vertisements had  brought  forth  five  hundred  applicants 
we  should  only  have  kept  one.  So  don't  torture  yourself, 
Archie.  Try  and  imagine  that  we  had  five  hundred  appli- 
cants, and  that  we  selected  Gerda  Lyberg." 

"I  can't,  Letitia,"  I  said  sulkily,  and  I  heaved  a  heavy 
sigh. 

"Come,"  she  said  soothingly,  "come  and  study  Swedish 
with  me.  It  will  be  most  useful  for  your  Lives  of  Great 
Men.  You  can  read  up  the  Swedes  in  the  original.  I'll 
entertain  you  with  this  book,  and  you'll  forget  all  about 
Mrs.  Potz — I  mean  Gerda  Lyberg.  By-the-by,  Archie, 
she  doesn't  remind  me  so  much  of  Hedda  Gabler.  I  don't 
fancy  that  she  is  very  subtile." 

"You,  Letitia,"  I  retorted,  "remind  me  of  Mrs.  Nickle- 
by.   You  ramble  on  so," 

42 


ALAN    DALE 

Letitia  looked  offended.  She  always  declared  that 
Dickens  "got  on  her  nerves."  She  was  one  of  the  new- 
fashioned  readers  who  have  learned  to  despise  Dickens. 
Personally,  I  regretted  only  his  nauseating  sense  of  hu- 
mor. Letitia  placed  a  cushion  behind  my  head,  smoothed 
my  forehead,  kissed  me,  made  her  peace,  and  settled  down 
by  my  side.  Lack  of  nourishment  made  me  drowsy,  and 
Letitia's  babblings  sounded  vague  and  muffled. 

"It  is  a  most  inclusive  little  book,"  she  said,  "and 
if  I  can  succeed  in  memorizing  it  all  I  shall  be  quite  at 
home  with  the  language.  In  fact,  dear,  I  think  I  shall  al- 
ways keep  Swedish  cooks.  Hark  at  this :  'If  the  wind 
be  favorable,  we  shall  be  at  Gothenburg  in  forty  hours/ 
(Om  vinden  ar  god,  sa  dro  vi  pa  pyrtio  timmar  i  Gote- 
borg.'  I  think  it  is  sweetly  pretty.  'You  are  seasick/ 
'Steward,  bring  me  a  glass  of  brandy  and  water.'  'We 
are  now  entering  the  harbor.'  'We  are  now  anchoring.' 
'Your  passports,  gentlemen.'  " 

A  comfortable  lethargy  was  stealing  o'er  me.  Le- 
titia took  a  pencil  and  paper,  and  made  notes  as  she  plied 
the  book.  "A  chapter  on  'seeing  a  town'  is  most  interest- 
ing, Archie.  Of  course,  it  must  be  a  Swedish  town.  'Do 
you  know  the  two  private  galleries  of  Mr.  Smith,  the  mer- 
chant, and  Mr.  Muller,  the  chancellor?'  'To-morrow 
morning  I  wish  to  see  all  the  public  buildings  and  statues.* 
'Statyerna'  is  Swedish  for  statues,  Archie.  Are  you  listen- 
ing, dear?  'We  will  visit  the  Church  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
at  two,  then  we  will  make  an  excursion  on  Lake  Malan 
and  see  the  fortress  of  Vaxholm.'  It  is  a  charming  little 
book.  Don't  you  think  that  it  is  a  great  improvement  on 
the  old  Ollendorff  system?  I  don't  find  nonsensical  sen- 
tences like  'The  hat  of  my  aunt's  sister  is  blue,  but  the  nose 
of  my  brother-in-law's  sister-in-law  is  red.'  " 

I  rose  and  stretched  myself.    Letitia  was  still  plunged 

43 


WANTED— A    COOK 

in  the  irritating  guide  to  Sweden,  where  I  vowed  I  would 
never  go.  Nothing  on  earth  should  ever  induce  me  to  visit 
Sweden.  If  it  came  to  a  choice  between  Hoboken  and 
Stockholm,  I  mentally  determined  to  select  the  former. 
As  I  paced  the  room  I  heard  a  curious  splashing  noise  in 
the  kitchen.  Letitia's  studies  must  have  dulled  her  ears. 
She  was  evidently  too  deeply  engrossed. 

I  strolled  nonchalantly  into  the  hall,  and  proceeded  de- 
liberately toward  the  kitchen.  The  thick  carpet  deadened 
my  footsteps.  The  splashing  noise  grew  louder.  The 
kitchen  door  was  closed.  I  gently  opened  it.  As  I  did  so 
a  wild  scream  rent  the  air.  There  stood  Gerda  Lyberg  in 
— in — my  pen  declines  to  write  it — a  simple  unsophisti- 
cated birthday  dress,  taking  an  ingenuous  reluctant  bath 
in  the  "stationary  tubs,"  with  the  plates,  and  dishes,  and 
dinner  things  grouped  artistically  around  her ! 

The  instant  she  saw  me  she  modestly  seized  a  dish- 
towel  and  shouted  at  the  top  of  her  voice.  The  kitchen 
was  filled  with  the  steam  from  the  hot  water.  'Venus 
arising*  looked  nebulous,  and  mystic.  I  beat  a  hasty  re- 
treat, aghast  at  the  revelation,  and  almost  fell  against 
Letitia,  who,  dropping  her  conversation  book,  came  to 
see  what  had  happened. 

"She's  bathing!"  I  gasped,  "in  the  kitchen — among  the 
plates — near  the  soup — " 

"Never !"  cried  Letitia.  Then,  melodramatically :  "Let 
me  pass.  Stand  aside,  Archie.  I'll  go  and  see.  Perhaps — 
perhaps — you  had  better  come  with  me." 

"Letitia,"  I  gurgled,  "I'm  shocked!  She  has  nothing 
on  but  a  dish-towel." 

Letitia  paused  irresolutely  for  a  second,  and  going  into 
the  kitchen  shut  the  door.  The  splashing  noise  ceased. 
I  heard  the  sound  of  voices,  or  rather  of  a  voice — Le- 
titia's!  Evidently  she  had  forgotten  Swedish,  and  such 

44 


ALAN    DALE 

remarks  as  "If  the  wind  be  favorable,  we  shall  be  at 
Gothenburg  in  forty  hours."  I  listened  attentively,  and 
could  not  even  hear  her  say  "We  will  visit  the  Church  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  at  two."  It  is  strange  how  the  stress  of 
circumstances  alters  the  complexion  of  a  conversation 
book !  All  the  evening  she  had  studied  Swedish,  and  yet 
suddenly  confronted  by  a  Swedish  lady  bathing  in  our 
kitchen,  dish-toweled  but  unashamed,  all  she  could  find  to 
say  was  "How  disgusting!"  and  "How  disgraceful!"  in 
English ! 

"You  see,"  said  Letitia,  when  she  emerged,  "she  is 
just  a  simple  peasant  girl,  and  only  needs  to  be  told.  It  is 
very  horrid,  of  course." 

"And  unappetizing!"  I  chimed  in. 

"Of  course — certainly  unappetizing.  I  couldn't  think 
of  anything  Swedish  to  say,  but  I  said  several  things  in 
English.  She  was  dreadfully  sorry  that  you  had  seen  her, 
and  never  contemplated  such  a  possibility.  After  all, 
Archie,  bathing  is  not  a  crime." 

"And  we  were  hunting  for  a  clean  slate,"  I  suggested 
satirically.  "Do  you  think,  Letitia,  that  she  also  takes  a 
cold  bath  in  the  morning,  among  the  bacon  and  eggs,  and 
things  ?" 

"That  is  enough,"  said  Letitia  sternly.  "The  episode 
need  not  serve  as  an  excuse  for  indelicacy." 

It  was  with  the  advent  of  Gerda  Lyberg  that  we  became 
absolutely  certain,  beyond  the  peradventure  of  any  doubt, 
that  there  was  such  a  thing  as  the  servant  question.  The 
knowledge  had  been  gradually  wafted  in  upon  us,  but  it 
was  not  until  the  lady  from  Stockholm  had  definitively 
planted  herself  in  our  midst  that  we  admitted  to  ourselves 
openly,  unblushingly,  that  the  problem  existed.  Gerda 
blazoned  forth  the  enigma  in  all  its  force  and  defiance. 

The  remarkable  thing  about  our  latest  acquisition  was 

45 


WANTED— A    COOK 

the  singularly  blank  state  of  her  gastronomic  mind. 
There  was  nothing  that  she  knew.  Most  women,  and  a 
great  many  men,  intuitively  recognize  the  physical  fact 
that  water,  at  a  ertain  temperature,  boils.  Miss  Lyberg, 
apparently  seeking  to  earn  her  living  in  the  kitchen,  had 
no  certain  views  as  to  when  the  boiling  point  was  reached. 
Rumors  seemed  vaguely  to  have  reached  her  that  things 
called  eggs  dropped  into  water  would,  in  the  course  of 
time — any  time,  and  generally  less  than  a  week — become 
eatable.  Letitia  bought  a  little  egg-boiler  for  her — one 
of  those  antique  arrangements  in  which  the  sands  of  time 
play  to  the  soft-boiled  ^gg.  The  maiden  promptly  boiled 
it  with  the  eggs,  and  undoubtedly  thought  that  the  hen, 
in  a  moment  of  perturbation,  or  aberration,  had  laid  it. 
I  say  "thought"  because  it  is  the  only  term  I  can  use.  It 
is,  perhaps,  inappropriate  in  connection  with  Gerda. 

Potatoes,  subjected  to  the  action  of  hot  water,  grow 
soft.  She  was  certain  of  that.  Whether  she  tested  them 
with  the  poker,  or  with  her  hands  or  feet,  we  never  knew. 
I  inclined  to  the  last  suggestion.  The  situation  was  quite 
marvelous.  Here  was  an  alleged  worker,  in  a  particular 
field,  asking  the  wages  of  skilled  labor,  and  densely  igno- 
rant of  every  detail  connected  with  her  task.  It  seemed 
unique.  Carpenters,  plumbers,  bricklayers,  seamstresses, 
dressmakers,  laundresses — all  the  sowers  and  reapers  in 
the  little  garden  of  our  daily  needs,  were  forced  by  the 
inexorable  law  of  competition  to  possess  some  inkling  of 
the  significance  of  their  undertakings.  With  the  cook  it 
was  different.  She  could  step  jubilantly  into  any  kitchen 
without  the  slightest  idea  of  what  she  was  expected  to  do 
there.  If  she  knew  that  water  was  wet  and  that  fire  was 
hot,  she  felt  amply  primed  to  demand  a  salary. 

Impelled  by  her  craving  for  Swedish  literature,  Le- 
titia struggled  with  Miss  Lyberg.    Compared  with  the 

46 


ALAN    DALE 

Swede,  my  exquisitely  ignorant  wife  was  a  culinary 
queen.  She  was  an  epicurean  caterer.  Letitia's  slate- 
pencil  coffee  was  ambrosia  for  the  gods,  sweetest  nectar, 
by  the  side  of  the  dishwater  that  cook  prepared.  I  began 
to  feel  quite  proud  of  her.  She  grew  to  be  an  adept  in  the 
art  of  boiling  water.  If  we  could  have  lived  on  that 
fluid,  everything  would  have  moved  clockworkily. 

"I've  discovered  one  thing,"  said  Letitia  on  the  even- 
ing of  the  third  day.  "The  girl  is  just  a  peasant,  probably 
a  worker  in  the  fields.   That  is  why  she  is  so  ignorant." 

I  thought  this  reasoning  foolish.  "Even  peasants  eat, 
my  dear,"  I  muttered.  "She  must  have  seen  somebody 
cook  something.  Field-workers  have  good  appetites.  If 
this  woman  ever  ate,  what  did  she  eat  and  why  can't  we 
have  the  same  ?  We  have  asked  her  for  no  luxuries.  We 
have  arrived  at  the  stage,  my  poor  girl,  when  all  we  need 
is,  prosaically,  to  'fill  up/  You  have  given  her  opportu- 
nities to  offer  us  samples  of  peasant  food.  The  result  has 
been  nil" 

"It  is  odd,"  Letitia  declared,  a  wrinkle  of  perplexity 
appearing  in  the  smooth  surface  of  her  forehead.  "Of 
course,  she  says  she  doesn't  understand  me.  And  yet, 
Archie,  I  have  talked  to  her  in  pure  Swedish." 

"I  suppose  you  said,  Tray  give  me  a  piece  of  venison/ 
from  the  conversation  book." 

"Don't  be  ridiculous,  Archie.  I  know  the  Swedish  for 
cauliflower,  green  peas,  spinach,  a  leg  of  mutton,  mustard, 
roast  meat,  soup,  and — " 

"  'If  the  wind  be  favorable,  we  shall  be  at  Gothen- 
burg in  forty  hours,'  "  I  interrupted.  She  was  silent,  and 
I  went  on :  "It  seems  a  pity  to  end  your  studies  in  Swe- 
dish, Letitia,  but  fascinating  though  they  be,  they  do  not 
really  necessitate  our  keeping  this  barbarian.  You  can 
always  pursue  them,  and  exercise  on  me.   I  don't  mind. 

47 


WANTED— A    COOK 

Even  with  an  American  cook,  if  such  a  being  exist,  you 
could  still  continue  to  ask  for  venison  steak  in  Swedish, 
and  to  look  forward  to  arriving  at  Gothenburg  in  forty 
hours." 

Letitia  declined  to  argue.  My  mood  was  that  known  as 
cranky.  We  were  in  the  drawing-room,  after  what  we 
were  compelled  to  call  dinner.  It  had  consisted  of  steak 
burned  to  cinders,  potatoes  soaked  to  a  pulp,  and  a  rice 
pudding  that  looked  like  a  poultice  the  morning  after, 
and  possibly  tasted  like  one.  Letitia  had  been  shopping, 
and  was  therefore  unable  to  supervise.  Our  delicate  repast 
was  capped  by  "black"  coffee  of  an  indefinite  straw-color, 
and  with  globules  of  grease  on  the  surface.  People 
who  can  feel  elated  with  the  joy  of  living,  after  a  din- 
ner of  this  description,  are  assuredly  both  mentally  and 
morally  lacking.  Men  and  women  there  are  who  will  say : 
"Oh,  give  me  anything.  I'm  not  particular — so  long  as  it 
is  plain  and  wholesome."  I've  met  many  of  these  people. 
My  experience  of  them  is  that  they  are  the  greatest  glut- 
tons on  earth,  with  veritably  voracious  appetites,  and  that 
the  best  isn't  good  enough  for  them.  To  be  sure,  at  a 
pinch,  they  will  demolish  a  score  of  potatoes,  if  there  be 
nothing  else;  but  offer  them  caviare,  canvas-back  duck, 
quail,  and  nesselrode  pudding,  and  they  will  look  askance 
at  food  that  is  plain  and  wholesome.  The  "plain  and 
wholesome"  liver  is  a  snare  and  a  delusion,  like  the  "bluff 
and  genial"  visitor  whose  geniality  veils  all  sorts  of  satire 
and  merciless  comment. 

Letitia  and  I  both  felt  weak  and  miserable.  We  had 
made  up  our  minds  not  to  dine  out.  We  were  resolved 
to  keep  the  home  up,  even  if,  in  return,  the  home  kept  us 
down.  Give  in,  we  wouldn't.  Our  fighting  blood  was  up. 
We  firmly  determined  not  to  degenerate  into  that  clammy 
American  institution,  the  boarding-house  feeder  and  the 

48 


ALAN    DALE 

restaurant  diner.  We  knew  the  type;  in  the  feminine,  it 
sits  at  table  with  its  bonnet  on,  and  a  sullen  gnawing  ex- 
pression of  animal  hunger;  in  the  masculine,  it  puts  its 
own  knife  in  the  butter,  and  uses  a  toothpick.  No  cook — 
no  lack  of  cook — should  drive  us  to  these  abysmal  depths. 

Letitia  made  no  feint  at  Ovid.  I  simply  declined  to 
breathe  the  breath  of  The  Lives  of  Great  Men.  She  read 
a  sweet  little  classic  called  "The  Table;  How  to  Buy 
Food,  How  to  Cook  It,  and  How  to  Serve  It,"  by  Ales- 
sandro  Filippini — a  delightful  table-d'hote-y  name.  I  lay 
back  in  my  chair  and  frowned,  waiting  until  Letitia  chose 
to  break  the  silence.  As  she  was  a  most  chattily  inclined 
person  on  all  occasions,  I  reasoned  that  I  should  not  have 
to  wait  long.  I  was  right. 

"Archie,"  said  she,  "according  to  this  book,  there  is  no 
place  in  the  civilized  world  that  contains  so  large  a  num- 
ber of  so-called  high-livers  as  New  York  City,  which  was 
educated  by  the  famous  Delmonico  and  his  able  lieuten- 
ants." 

"Great  Heaven !"  I  exclaimed  with  a  groan,  "why  rub 
it  in,  Letitia  ?  I  should  also  say  that  no  city  in  the  world 
contained  so  large  a  number  of  low-livers." 

"  'Westward  the  course  of  Empire  sways/  "  she  read, 
"  'and  the  great  glory  of  the  past  has  departed  from  those 
centers  where  the  culinary  art  at  one  time  defied  all  rivals. 
The  scepter  of  supremacy  has  passed  into  the  hands  of 
the  metropolis  of  the  New  World/  " 

"What  sickening  cant !"  I  cried.  "What  fiendishly  ex- 
aggerated restaurant  talk!  There  are  perhaps  fifty  fine 
restaurants  in  New  York.  In  Paris  there  are  five  hundred 
finer.  Here  we  have  places  to  eat  in;  there  they  have 
artistic  resorts  to  dine  in.  One  can  dine  anywhere  in 
Paris.  In  New  York,  save  for  those  fifty  fine  restaurants, 
one  feeds.  Don't  read  any  more  of  your  cook-book  to  me, 

49 


WANTED— A    COOK 

my  girl.   It  is  written  to  catch  the  American  trade,  with 
the  subtile  pen  of  flattery/' 

"Try  and  be  patriotic,  dear,"  she  said  soothingly.  "Of 
course,  I  know  you  wouldn't  allow  a  Frenchman  to  say  all 
that,  and  that  you  are  just  talking  cussedly  with  your 
own  wife." 

A  ring  at  the  bell  caused  a  diversion.  We  hailed  it. 
We  were  in  the  humor  to  hail  anything.  The  domestic 
hearth  was  most  trying.  We  were  bored  to  death.  I 
sprang  up  and  ran  to  the  door,  a  little  pastime  to  which 
I  was  growing  accustomed.  Three  tittering  young 
women,  each  wearing  a  hat  in  which  roses,  violets,  pop- 
pies, cornflowers,  forget-me-nots,  feathers  and  ribbons 
ran  riot,  confronted  me. 

"Miss  Gerda  Lyberg?"  said  the  foremost,  who  wore 
a  bright  red  gown,  and  from  whose  hat  six  spiteful  pop- 
pies lurched  forward  and  almost  hit  me  in  the  face. 

For  a  moment,  dazed  from  the  cook-book,  I  was  non- 
plussed. All  I  could  say  was  "No,"  meaning  that  I  wasn't 
Miss  Gerda  Lyberg.  I  felt  so  sure  that  I  wasn't  that  I 
was  about  to  close  the  door. 

"She  lives  here,  I  believe,"  asserted  the  damsel,  again 
shooting  forth  the  poppies. 

I  came  to  myself  with  an  effort.  "She  is  the — the 
cook,"  I  muttered  weakly. 

"We  are  her  friends,"  quoth  the  damsel,  an  indignant 
inflection  in  her  voice.  "Kindly  let  us  in.  We've  come  to 
the  Thursday  sociable." 

The  three  bedizened  ladies  entered  without  further 
parley  and  went  toward  the  kitchen,  instinctively  recog- 
nizing its  direction.  I  was  amazed.  I  heard  a  noisy  greet- 
ing, a  peal  of  laughter,  a  confusion  of  tongues,  and  then — 
I  groped  my  way  back  to  Letitia. 

"They've  come  to  the  Thursday  sociable !"  I  cried. 

50 


ALAN    DALE 

"Who?"  she  asked  in  astonishment,  and  I  imparted  to 
her  the  full  extent  of  my  knowledge.  Letitia  took  it  very 
nicely.  She  had  always  heard,  she  said,  in  fact  Mrs.  Ar- 
cher had  told  her,  that  Thursday  nights  were  festival 
occasions  with  the  Swedes.  She  thought  it  rather  a  pleas- 
ant and  convivial  notion.  Servants  must  enjoy  them- 
selves, after  all.  Better  a  happy  gathering  of  girls  than 
a  rowdy  collection  of  men.  Letitia  thought  the  idea  felic- 
itous. She  had  no  objections  to  giving  privileges  to  a 
cook.  Nor  had  I,  for  the  matter  of  that.  I  ventured  to 
remark,  however,  that  Gerda  didn't  seem  to  be  a  cook. 

"Then  let  us  call  her  a  'girl/  "  said  Letitia. 

"Gerda  is  a  girl,  only  because  she  isn't  a  boy,"  I  re- 
marked tauntingly.  "If  by  'girl'  you  even  mean  servant, 
then  Gerda  isn't  a  girl.  Goodness  knows  what  she  is. 
Hello !  Another  ring !" 

This  time  Miss  Lyberg  herself  went  to  the  door,  and 
we  listened.  More  arrivals  for  the  sociable ;  four  Swedish 
guests,  all  equally  gaily  attired  in  flower  hats.  Some  of 
them  wore  bangles,  the  noise  of  which,  in  the  hall, 
sounded  like  an  infuriation  of  sleigh-bells.  They  were 
Christina  and  Sophie  and  Sadie  and  Alexandra — as  we 
soon  learned.  It  was  wonderful  how  welcome  Gerda 
made  them,  and  how  quickly  they  wrere  "at  home."  They 
rustled  through  the  halls,  chatting  and  laughing  and  hum- 
ming. Such  merry  girls !  Such  light-hearted  little  charm- 
ers !  Letitia  stood  looking  at  them  through  the  crack  of 
the  drawing-room  door.  Perhaps  it  was  just  as  well  that 
somebody  should  have  a  good  time  in  our  house. 

"Just  the  same,  Letitia,"  I  observed,  galled,  "I  think 
I  should  say  to-morrow  that  this  invasion  is  most  im- 
pertinent— most  uncalled  for." 

"Yes,  Archie,"  said  Letitia  demurely,  "you  think  you 
should  say  it.   But  please  don't  think  /  shall,  for  I  assure 

5i 


WANTED— A    COOK 

you  that  I  shan't.  I  suppose  that  we  must  discharge  her. 
She  can't  do  anything  and  she  doesn't  want  to  learn.  I 
don't  blame  her.  She  can  always  get  the  wages  she  asks, 
by  doing  nothing.  You  would  pursue  a  similar  policy, 
Archie,  if  it  were  possible.  Everybody  would.  But  all 
other  laborers  must  know  how  to  labor." 

I  was  glad  to  hear  Letitia  echoing  my  sentiments.  She 
was  quite  unconsciously  plagiarizing.  Once  again  she 
took  up  the  cook-book.  The  sound  of  merrymaking  in 
the  kitchen  drifted  in  upon  us.  From  what  we  could 
gather,  Gerda  seemed  to  be  "dressing  up"  for  the  delecta- 
tion of  her  guests.  Shrieks  of  laughter  and  clapping  of 
hands  made  us  wince.  My  nerves  were  on  edge.  Had  any 
one  at  that  moment  dared  to  suggest  that  there  was  even 
a  suspicion  of  humor  in  these  proceedings  I  should  have 
slain  him  without  compunction.  Letitia  was  less  irate 
and  tried  to  comfort  me. 

Letitia  sighed,  and  shut  up  the  cook-book.  Eggs  a  la 
reine  seemed  as  difficult  as  trigonometry,  or  conic  sec- 
tions, or  differential  calculus — and  much  more  expensive. 
Certainly  the  eight  giggling  cooks  in  the  kitchen,  now  at 
the  very  height  of  their  exhilaration,  worried  themselves 
little  about  such  concoctions.  My  nerves  again  began  to 
play  pranks.  The  devilish  pandemonium  infuriated  me. 
Letitia  was  tired  and  wanted  to  go  to  bed.  I  was  tired 
and  hungry  and  disillusioned.  It  was  close  upon  midnight 
and  the  Swedish  Thursday  was  about  over.  I  thought  it 
unwise  to  allow  them  even  an  initial  minute  of  Friday. 
When  the  clock  struck  twelve,  I  marched  majestically 
to  the  kitchen,  threw  open  the  door,  revealed  the  octette 
in  the  enjoyment  of  a  mound  of  ice-cream  and  a  mountain 
of  cake — that  in  my  famished  condition  made  my  mouth 
water — and  announced  in  a  severe,  yet  subdued  tone,  that 
the  revel  must  cease. 

52      , 


ALAN    DALE 

"You  must  go  at  once,"  I  said,  "I  am  going  to  shut  up 
the  house." 

Then  I  withdrew  and  waited.  There  was  a  delay,  dur- 
ing which  a  Babel  of  tongues  was  let  loose,  and  then  Miss 
Lyberg's  seven  guests  were  heard  noisily  leaving  the 
house.  Two  minutes  later,  there  was  a  knock  at  our  door 
and  Miss  Lyberg  appeared,  her  eyes  blazing,  her  face 
flushed  and  the  expression  of  the  hunted  antelope  defiantly 
asserting  that  it  would  never  be  brought  to  bay,  on  her 
perspiring  features. 

"You've  insulted  my  guests !"  she  cried,  in  English  as 
good  as  my  own.  "I've  had  to  turn  them  out  of  the  house, 
and  I've  had  about  enough  of  this  place." 

Letitia's  face  was  a  psychological  study.  Amazement, 
consternation,  humiliation — all  seemed  determined  to  pos- 
sess her.  Here  was  the  obtuse  Swede,  for  whose  dear 
sake  she  had  dallied  with  the  intricacies  of  the  language 
of  Stockholm,  furiously  familiar  with  admirable  Eng- 
lish! The  dense,  dumb  Scandinavian — the  lady  of  the 
"me  no  understand"  rejoinder — apparently  had  the  "gift 
of  tongues."  Letitia  trembled.  Rarely  have  I  seen  her  so 
thoroughly  perturbed.  Yet  seemingly  she  was  unwilling 
to  credit  the  testimony  of  her  own  ears,  for  with  sudden 
energy,  she  confronted  Miss  Lyberg,  and  exclaimed  im- 
periously, in  Swedish  that  was  either  pure  or  impure : 
"Tig.  Ga  din  vagi" 

"Ah,  come  off!"  cried  the  handmaiden  insolently.  "I 
understand  English.  I  haven't  been  in  this  country  fifteen 
years  for  nothing.  It's  just  on  account  of  folks  like  you 
that  poor  hard-working  girls,  who  ain't  allowed  to  take  no 
baths  or  entertain  no  lady  friends,  have  to  protect  them- 
selves. Pretend  not  to  understand  them,  says  I.  I've 
found  it  worked  before  this.  If  they  think  you  don't  un- 
derstand 'em,  they'll  let  you  alone  and  stop  worriting. 

53 


WANTED— A    COOK 

It's  like  your  impidence  to  turn  my  lady-friends  out  of 
this  flat.    It's  like  your  impidence.   I'll — " 

Letitia's  crestfallen  look,  following  upon  her  perturba- 
tion, completely  upset  me.  A  wave  of  indignation 
swamped  me.  I  advanced,  and  in  another  minute  Miss 
Gerda  Lyberg  would  have  found  herself  in  the  hall,  im- 
pelled there  by  a  persuasive  hand  upon  her  shoulder. 
However,  it  was  not  to  be. 

"You  just  lay  a  hand  on  me,"  she  said  with  cold  de- 
liberation, and  a  smile,  "and  I'll  have  you  arrested  for 
assault.  Oh,  I  know  the  law.  I  haven't  been  in  this  coun- 
try fifteen  years  for  nothing.  The  law  looks  after  poor 
weak,  Swedish  girls.  Just  push  me  out.  It's  all  I  ask. 
Just  you  push  me  out." 

She  edged  up  to  me  defiantly.  My  blood  boiled.  I 
would  have  mortgaged  the  prospects  of  my  Lives  of  Great 
Men  (not  that  they  were  worth  mortgaging)  for  the  ex- 
quisite satisfaction  of  confounding  this  abominable  wom- 
an. Then  I  saw  the  peril  of  the  situation.  I  thought  of 
horrid  headliners  in  the  papers:  "Author  charged  with 
abusing  servant  girl,"  or,  "Arrest  of  Archibald  Fairfax 
on  serious  charge,"  and  my  mood  changed. 

"I  understood  you  all  the  time,"  continued  Miss  Ly- 
berg insultingly.  "I  listened  to  you.  I  knew  what  you 
thought  of  me.  Now  I'm  telling  you  what  I  think  of  you. 
The  idea  of  turning  out  my  lady-friends,  on  a  Thursday 
night,  too!  And  me  a-slaving  for  them,  and  a-bathing 
for  them,  and  a-treating  them  to  ice  cream  and  cake,  and 
in  me  own  kitchen.  You  ain't  no  lady.  As  for  you" — I 
seemed  to  be  her  particular  pet — "when  I  sees  a  man 
around  the  house  all  the  time,  a-molly-coddling  and  a- 
fussing,  I  says  to  myself,  he  ain't  much  good  if  he  can't 
trust  the  women  folk  alone." 

We  stood  there  like  dummies,  listening  to  the  tirade. 

54 


ALAN    DALE 

What  could  we  do  ?  To  be  sure,  there  were  two  of  us,  and 
we  were  in  our  own  house.  The  antagonist,  however,  was 
a  servant,  not  in  her  own  house.  The  situation,  for  rea- 
sons that  it  is  impossible  to  define,  was  hers.  She  knew 
it,  too.  We  allowed  her  full  sway,  because  we  couldn't 
help  it.  The  sympathy  of  the  public,  in  case  of  violent 
measures,  would  not  have  been  on  our  side.  The  poor 
domestic,  oppressed  and  enslaved,  would  have  appealed  to 
any  jury  of  married  men,  living  luxuriously  in  cheap 
boarding-houses ! 

When  she  left  us,  as  she  did  when  she  was  completely 
ready  to  do  so,  Letitia  began  to  cry.  The  sight  of  her 
tears  unnerved  me,  and  I  checked  a  most  unfeeling  re- 
mark that  I  intended  to  make  to  the  effect  that,  "if  the 
wind  be  favorable,  we  shall  be  at  Gothenburg  in  forty 
hours." 

"It's  not  that  I  mind  her  insolence,"  she  sobbed,  "we 
were  going  to  send  her  off  anyway,  weren't  we  ?  But  it's 
so  humiliating  to  be  'done.'  We've  been  'done.'  Here 
have  I  been  working  hard  at  Swedish — writing  exercises, 
learning  verbs,  studying  proverbs — just  to  talk  to  a 
woman  who  speaks  English  as  well  as  I  do.  It's — it's — so 
— so — mor — mortifying." 

"Never  mind,  dear,"  I  said,  drying  her  eyes  for  her; 
"the  Swedish  will  come  in  handy  some  day." 

"No,"  she  declared  vehemently,  "don't  say  that  you'll 
take  me  to  Sweden.  I  wouldn't  go  to  the  hateful  country. 
It's  a  hideous  language,  anyway,  isn't  it,  Archie?  It  is  a 
nasty,  laconic,  ugly  tongue.  You  heard  me  say  Tig  to  her 
just  now.  Tig  means  'be  silent/  Could  anything  sound 
more  repulsive ?  Tig!  Tig!  Ugh!" 

Letitia  stamped  her  foot.   She  was  exceeding  wroth. 


Vol.   1- 


55 


SIMILAR  CASES 

BY   CHARLOTTE   PERKINS   GILMAN 

There  was  once  a  little  animal, 

No  bigger  than  a  fox, 
And  on  five  toes  he  scampered 

Over  Tertiary  rocks. 
They  called  him  Eohippus, 

And  they  called  him  very  small, 
And  they  thought  him  of  no  value — 

When  they  thought  of  him  at  all ; 
For  the  lumpish  old  Dinoceras 

And  Coryphodon  so  slow 
Were  the  heavy  aristocracy 

In  days  of  long  ago. 

Said  the  little  Eohippus, 

"I  am  going  to  be  a  horse! 
And  on  my  middle  finger-nails 

To  run  my  earthly  course ! 
I'm  going  to  have  a  flowing  tail ! 

I'm  going  to  have  a  mane! 
I'm  going  to  stand  fourteen  hands  high 

On  the  psychozoic  plain !" 

The  Coryphodon  was  horrified, 
The  Dinoceras  was  shocked ; 

And  they  chased  young  Eohippus, 
But  he  skipped  away  and  mocked ; 

56 


CHARLOTTE    PERKINS    GILMAN 

Then  they  laughed  enormous  laughter, 

And  they  groaned  enormous  groans, 
And  they  bade  young  Eohippus 

Go  view  his  father's  bones : 
Said  they,  "You  always  were  as  small 

And  mean  as  now  we  see, 
And  that's  conclusive  evidence 

That  you're  always  going  to  be: 
What !    Be  a  great,  tall,  handsome  beast, 

With  hoofs  to  gallop  on  ? 
Why,  you'd  have  to  change  your  nature  I" 

Said  the  Loxolophodon : 
They  considered  him  disposed  of, 

And  retired  with  gait  serene ; 
That  was  the  way  they  argued 

In  "the  early  Eocene." 

There  was  once  an  Anthropoidal  Ape, 

Far  smarter  than  the  rest, 
And  everything  that  they  could  do 

He  always  did  the  best ; 
So  they  naturally  disliked  him, 

And  they  gave  him  shoulders  cool, 
And  when  they  had  to  mention  him 

They  said  he  was  a  fool. 

Cried  this  pretentious  Ape  one  day, 

"I'm  going  to  be  a  Man! 
And  stand  upright,  and  hunt,  and  fight, 

And  conquer  all  I  can! 
I'm  going  to  cut  down  forest  trees, 

To  make  my  houses  higher ! 
I'm  going  to  kill  the  Mastodon! 

I'm  going  to  make  a  fire !" 

57 


SIMILAR    CASES 

Loud  screamed  the  Anthropoidal  Apes, 

With  laughter  wild  and  gay; 
They  tried  to  catch  that  boastful  one. 

But  he  always  got  away; 
So  they  yelled  at  him  in  chorus, 

Which  he  minded  not  a  whit; 
And  they  pelted  him  with  cocoanuts, 

Which  didn't  seem  to  hit ; 
And  then  they  gave  him  reasons, 

Which  they  thought  of  much  avail, 
To  prove  how  his  preposterous 

Attempt  was  sure  to  fail. 

Said  the  sages,  "In  the  first  place, 

The  thing  can  not  be  done! 
And,  second,  if  it  could  be, 

It  would  not  be  any  fun! 
And,  third,  and  most  conclusive 

And  admitting  no  reply, 
You  would  have  to  change  your  nature! 

We  should  like  to  see  you  try !" 
They  chuckled  then  triumphantly, 

These  lean  and  hairy  shapes, 
For  these  things  passed  as  arguments 

With  the  Anthropoidal  Apes. 

There  was  once  a  Neolithic  Man, 

An  enterprising  wight, 
Who  made  his  chopping  implements 

Unusually  bright ; 
Unusually  clever  he, 

Unusually  brave, 
And  he  drew  delightful  Mammoths 

On  the  borders  of  his  cave. 

58 


CHARLOTTE    PERKINS    GILMAN 

To  his  Neolithic  neighbors, 

Who  were  startled  and  surprised, 
Said  he,  "My  friends,  in  course  of  time, 

We  shall  be  civilized ! 
We  are  going  to  live  in  cities ! 

We  are  going  to  fight  in  wars ! 
We  are  going  to  eat  three  times  a  day 

Without  the  natural  cause! 
We  are  going  to  turn  life  upside  down 

About  a  thing  called  gold ! 
We  are  going  to  want  the  earth,  and  take 

As  much  as  we  can  hold ! 
We  are  going  to  wear  great  piles  of  stuff 

Outside  our  proper  skins ! 
We  are  going  to  have  Diseases ! 

And  Accomplishments ! !   And  Sins ! ! ! 

Then  they  all  rose  up  in  fury 

Against  their  boastful  friend, 
For  prehistoric  patience 

Cometh  quickly  to  an  end : 
Said  one,  "This  is  chimerical ! 

Utopian!  Absurd!" 
Said  another,  "Wliat  a  stupid  life! 

Too  dull,  upon  my  word !" 
Cried  all,  "Before  such  things  can  come, 

You  idiotic  child, 
You  must  alter  Human  Nature!" 

And  they  all  sat  back  and  smiled : 
Thought  they,  "An  answer  to  that  last 

It  will  be  hard  to  find !" 
It  was  a  clinching  argument 

To  the  Neolithic  Mind ! 


59 


THE  OLD  MAID'S  HOUSE:   IN  PLAN 

BY   ELIZABETH    STUART   PHELPS 

Corona  had  five  hundred  dollars  and  some  pluck  for  her 
enterprise.  She  had  also  at  her  command  a  trifle  for  fur- 
nishing. But  that  seemed  very  small  capital.  Her  friends 
at  large  discouraged  her  generously.  Even  Tom  said  he 
didn't  know  about  that,  and  offered  her  three  hundred 
more. 

This  manly  offer  she  declined  in  a  womanly  manner. 

"It  is  to  be  my  house,  thank  you,  Tom,  dear.  I  can  live 
in  yours  at  home."     .     .     . 

Corona's  architectural  library  was  small.  She  found 
on  the  top  shelf  one  book  on  the  construction  of  chicken- 
roosts,  a  pamphlet  in  explanation  of  the  kindergarten 
system,  a  cook-book  that  had  belonged  to  her  grand- 
mother, and  a  treatise  on  crochet.  There  her  domestic 
literature  came  to  an  end.  She  accordingly  bought  a  book 
entitled  "North  American  Homes";  then,  having,  in 
addition,  begged  or  borrowed  everything  within  two 
covers  relating  to  architecture  that  was  to  be  found  in  her 
immediate  circle  of  acquaintance,  she  plunged  into  that 
unfamiliar  science  with  hopeful  zeal. 

The  result  of  her  studies  was  a  mixed  one.  It  was 
necessary,  it  seemed,  to  construct  the  North  American 
home  in  so  many  contradictory  methods,  or  else  fail  for- 
ever of  life,  liberty,  and  the  pursuit  of  happiness,  that 
Corona  felt  herself  to  be  laboring  under  a  chronic  aberra- 

60 


ELIZABETH    STUART   PHELPS 

tion  of  mind.  .  .  .  Then  the  plans.  Well,  the  plans, 
it  must  be  confessed,  Corona  did  find  it  difficult  to  under- 
stand. She  always  had  found  it  difficult  to  understand 
such  things ;  but  then  she  had  hoped  several  weeks  of  close 
architectural  study  would  shed  light  upon  the  density  of 
the  subject.  She  grew  quite  morbid  about  it.  She  counted 
the  steps  when  she  went  up-stairs  to  bed  at  night.  She 
estimated  the  bedroom  post  when  she  walked  in  the  cold 
gray  dawn 

But  the  most  perplexing  thing  about  the  plans  was  how  * 
one  story  ever  got  upon  another.    Corona's  imagination 
never  fully  grappled  with  this  fact,  although  her  intellect 
accepted  it.    She  took  her  books  down-stairs  one  night, 
and  Susy  came  and  looked  them  over. 

"Why,  these  houses  are  all  one-story,"  said  Susy.  "Be- 
sides, they  're  nothing  but  lines,  anyway.  I  should  n't 
draw  a  house  so." 

Corona  laughed  with  some  embarrassment  and  no  ef- 
fort at  enlightenment.  She  was  not  used  to  finding  her- 
self and  Susy  so  nearly  on  the  same  intellectual  level  as  in 
this  instance.  She  merely  asked :  "How  should  you  draw 
it?" 

"Why,  so,"  said  Susy,  after  some  severe  thought.  So 
she  took  her  little  blunt  lead  pencil,  that  the  baby  had 
chewed,  and  drew  her  plan  as  follows : 

susy's  plan 


Quest 
Soon) 


Roof 


Cloiet 

foe 

B«ttla| 


TPtolor 


One 

Boom 


Dining 
Boom. 


Kitchen 
Ell 


2farB?l7  RQd  your  worn  behind. 

61 


THE    OLD    MAID'S    HOUSE:    IN    PLAN 

Corona  made  no  comment  upon  this  plan,  except  to  ask 
Susy  if  that  were  the  way  to  spell  L ;  and  then  to  look  in 
the  dictionary,  and  find  that  it  was  not  spelled  at  all.  Tom 
came  in,  and  asked  to  see  what  they  were  doing. 

"I'm  helping  Corona,"  said  Susy,  with  much  com- 
placency. "These  architects'  things  don't  look  any  more 
like  houses  than  they  do  like  the  first  proposition  in 
Euclid ;  and  the  poor  girl  is  puzzled." 

"Fit  help  you  to-morrow,  Co,"  said  Tom,  who  was  in 
too  much  of  a  hurry  to  glance  at  his  wife's  plan.  But  to- 
morrow Tom  went  into  town  by  the  early  train,  and  when 
Corona  emerged  from  her  "North  American  Homes; ' 
with  wild  eye  and  knotted  brow,  at  5  o'clock  p.  mv  she 
found  Susy  crying  over  a  telegram  which  ran : 

Called  to  California  immediately.  Those  lost  cargoes 
A  No.  1  hides  turned  up.  Can't  get  home  to  say  good-by. 
Send  overcoat  and  flannels  by  Simpson  on  midnight  ex- 
press. Gone  four  weeks.  Love  to  all.  Tom. 

This  unexpected  event  threw  Corona  entirely  upon  her 
own  resources ;  and,  after  a  few  days  more  of  patient  re- 
search, she  put  on  her  hat,  and  stole  away  at  dusk  to  a 
builder  she  knew  of  down-town — a  nice,  fatherly  man 
who  had  once  built  a  piazza  for  Tom  and  had  just  been 
elected  superintendent  of  the  Sunday-school.  These  com- 
bined facts  gave  Corona  confidence  to  trust  her  case  to 
his  hands.  She  carried  a  neat  little  plan  of  her  own  with 
her,  the  result  of  several  days'  hard  labor.  Sasy's  plan 
she  had  taken  the  precaution  to  cut  into  paper  dolls  for 
the  baby.  Corona  found  the  good  man  at  home,  and  in 
her  most  business-like  manner  presented  her  points. 

"Got  any  plan  in  yer  own  head?"  asked  the  builder, 
hearing  her  in  silence.  In  silence  Corona  laid  before  him 
the  paper  which  had  cost  her  so  much  toil. 

62 


ELIZABETH    STUART    PHELPS 
It  was  headed  in  her  clear  black  hand : 

PLAN 

FOR    A   SMALL  BUT    HAPPY 
HOME 

This„w&s. 


CORON.VS  PLAN. 

CHOUVD    FLOO«. 

Back  Door. 

w 

w 

w 

Library 

\     / 

Kitchen 

,vr 

Door 

Hill 

Door 

/ 

\ 

w 

Parlor 

\     / 

Dining  Foom. 

\v 

wr 

rroui  Dooi. 

SKCONP    PLC**! 


w 

t)                  w 

ti        Bedroom 

\ 

/       i\c.1rooiii 

w 

Hall 

f         Bedroom 

/ 

v      Bedroom 

w 

w 

w 

"Well,"  said  the  builder,  after  a  silence, — "well,  IVe 
seen  worse." 

"Thank  you,"  said  Corona,  faintly. 

"How  does  she  set?"  asked  the  builder. 

"Who  set?"  said  Corona,  a  little  wildly.  She  could 
think  of  nothing  that  set  but  hens. 

"Why,  the  house.    Where's  the  points  o'  compass  ?" 

"I  hadn't  thought  of  those,"  said  Corona. 

63 


THE   OLD   MAID'S    HOUSE:   IN    PLAN 

"And  the  chimney,"  suggested  the  builder.  "Where's 
your  chimneys  ?" 

"I  didn't  put  in  any  chimneys,"  said  Corona. 

"Where  did  you  count  on  your  stairs?"  pursued  the 
builder. 

"Stairs?  I — forgot  the  stairs." 

"That's  natural,"  said  Mr.  Timbers.  "Had  a  plan 
brought  me  once  without  an  entry  or  a  window  to  it.  It 
wasn't  a  woman  did  it,  neither.  It  was  a  widower,  in  the 
noospaper  line.  What's  your  scale  ?" 

"Scale  ?"  asked  Corona,  without  animation. 

"Scale  of  feet.  Proportions." 

"Oh!  I  didn't  have  any  scales,  but  I  thought  about 
forty  feet  front  would  do.  I  have  but  five  hundred  dol- 
lars.   A  small  house  must  answer." 

The  builder  smiled.  He  said  he  would  show  her  some 
plans.  He  took  a  book  from  his  table  and  opened  at  a 
plate  representing  a  small,  snug  cottage,  not  uncomely. 
It  stood  in  a  flourishing  apple-orchard,  and  a  much  larger 
house  appeared  dimly  in  the  distance,  upon  a  hill.  The 
The  cottage  was  what  is  called  a  "story-and-half"  and 
contained  six  rooms.  The  plan  was  drawn  with  the 
beauty  of  science. 

"There,"  said  Mr.  Timbers,  "I  know  a  lady  built  one 
of  those  upon  her  brother-in-law's  land.  He  give  her  the 
land,  and  she  just  put  up  the  cottage,  and  they  was  all 
as  pleasant  as  pease  about  it.  That's  about  what  I'd  rec- 
ommend to  you,  if  you  don't  object  to  the  name  of  it." 

"What  is  the  matter  with  the  name?"  asked  Corona. 

"Why,"  said  the  builder,  hesitating,  "it  is  called  the 
Old  Maid's  House — in  the  bgok." 

"Mr.  Timbers,"  said  Corona,  with  decision,  "why 
should  we  seek  further  than  the  truth  ?  I  will  have  that 
house.  Pray,  draw  me  the  plan  at  once." 

64 


DISTICHS 


BY   JOHN    HAY 


Wisely  a  woman  prefers  to  a  lev£r  a  man  who  neglects 

her. 
This  one  may  love  her  some  day,  some  day  the  lover  will, 

not* 

II 

There  are  three  species  of  creatures  who  when  they  seem 

coming  are  going, 
When  they  seem  going  they  come :  Diplomates,  women, 

and  crabs. 

Ill 

Pleasures  too  hastily  tasted  grow  sweeter  in  fond  recol- 
lection, 

As  the  pomegranate  plucked  green  ripens  far  over  the 
sea. 

IV 

As  the  meek  beasts  in  the  Garden  came  flocking  for  Adam 

to  name  them, 
Men  for  a  title  to-day  crawl  to  the  feet  of  a  king. 

65 


DISTICHS 

V 

What  is  a  first  love  worth,  except  to  prepare  for  a  second  ? 
What  does  the  second  love  bring?     Only  regret  for  the 
first. 

VI 

Health  was  wooed  by  the  Romans  in  groves  of  the  laurel 

and  myrtle. 
Happy  and  long  are  the  lives  brightened  by  glory  and 

love. 

VII 

Wine  is  like  rain :  when  it  falls  on  the  mire  it  but  makes 

it  the  fouler, 
But  when  it  strikes  the  good  soil  wakes  it  to  beauty  and 

bloom. 

VIII 

Break  not  the  rose;  its  fragrance  and  beauty  are  surely 

sufficient : 
Resting  contented  with  these,  never  a  thorn  shall  you  feel. 

IX 

When  you  break  up  housekeeping,  you  learn  the  extent 

of  your  treasures ; 
Till  he  begins  to  reform,  no  one  can  number  his  sins. 

X 

Maidens !  why  should  you  worry  in  choosing  whom  you 
shall  marry  ? 

Choose  whom  you  may,  you  will  find  you  have  got  some- 
body else. 

66 


JOHN    HAY 

XI 

Unto  each  man  comes  a  day  when  his  favorite  sins  all  for- 
sake him, 
And  he  complacently  thinks  he  has  forsaken  his  sins. 

XII 

Be  not  too  anxious  to  gain  your  next-door  neighbor's  ap- 
proval : 

Live  your  own  life,  and  let  him  strive  your  approval  to 
gain. 

XIII 

Who  would  succeed  in  the  world  should  be  wise  in  the 

use  of  his  pronouns. 
Utter  the  You  twenty  times,  where  you  once  utter  the  I. 

XIV 

The  best-loved  man  or  maid  in  the  town  would  perish 

with  anguish 
Could  they  hear  all  that  their  friends  say  in  the  course  of 

a  day. 

XV 

True  luck  consists  not  in  holding  the  best  of  the  cards  at 

the  table : 
Luckiest  he  who  knows  just  when  to  rise  and  go  home. 

XVI 

Pleasant  enough  it  is  to  hear  the  world  speak  of  your  vir- 
tues; 
But  in  your  secret  heart  'tis  of  your  faults  you  are  proud. 

67' 


DISTICHS 
XVII 

Try  not  to  beat  back  the  current,  yet  be  not  drowned  in 

its  waters ; 
Speak  with  the  speech  of  the  world,   think  with  the 

thoughts  of  the  few. 

XVIII 

Make  all  good  men  your  well-wishers,  and  then,  in  the 

years'  steady  sifting, 
Some  of  them  turn  into  friends.  Friends  are  the  sunshine 

of  life. 


THE  QUARREL 

BY    S.    E.    KISER 

"There  are  quite  as  good  fish 
In  the  sea 
As  any  one  ever  has  caught," 
Said  he. 
"But  few  of  the  fish- 
In  the  sea 
Will  bite  at  such  bait  as  you've  got," 
Said  she. 
To-day  he  is  gray,  and  his  line's  put  away, 

But  he  often  looks  back  with  regret; 
She's  still  "in  the  sea,"  and  how  happy 
she'd  be 
If  he  were  a  fisherman  yet ! 


68 


A  LETTER  FROM  MR.  BIGGS 

BY   E.    W.    HOWE 

My  Dear  Sir — Occasionally  a  gem  occurs  to  me  which 
I  am  unable  to  favor  you  with  because  of  late  we  are 
not  much  together.  Appreciating  the  keen  delight  with 
which  you  have  been  kind  enough  to  receive  my  philoso- 
phy, I  take  the  liberty  of  sending  herewith  a  number  of 
ideas  which  may  please  and  benefit  you,  and  which  I  have 
divided  into  paragraphs  with  headings. 

HAPPINESS 

I  have  observed  that  happiness  and  brains  seldom  go 
together.  The  pin-headed  woman  who  regards  her  thin- 
witted  husband  as  the  greatest  man  in  the  world,  is  happy, 
and  much  good  may  it  do  her.  In  such  cases  ignorance 
is  a  positive  blessing,  for  good  sense  would  cause  the 
woman  to  realize  her  distressed  condition.  A  man  who 
can  think  he  is  as  "good  as  anybody"  is  happy.  The  fact 
may  be  notorious  that  the  man  is  not  so  "good  as  any- 
body" until  he  is  as  industrious,  as  educated,  and  as  re- 
fined as  anybody,  but  he  has  not  brains  enough  to  know 
this,  and,  content  with  conceit,  is  happy.  A  man  with  a 
brain  large  enough  to  understand  mankind  is  always 
wretched  and  ashamed  of  himself. 

REPUTATION 

Reputation  is  not  always  desirable.    The  only  thing  I 

69 


A    LETTER    FROM    MR.    BIGGS 

have  ever  heard  said  in  Twin  Mounds  concerning  Smoky 
Hill  is  that  good  hired  girls  may  be  had  there. 

WOMEN 

i.  Most  women  seem  to  love  for  no  other  reason  than 
that  it  is  expected  of  them. 

2.  I  know  too  much  about  women  to  honor  them  more 
than  they  deserve;  in  fact  I  know  all  about  them.  I 
visited  a  place  once  where  doctors  are  made,  and  saw 
them  cut  up  one. 

3.  A  woman  loses  her  power  when  she  allows  a  man  to 
find  out  all  there  is  to  her ;  I  mean  by  this  that  familiarity 
breeds  contempt.  I  knew  a  young  man  once  who  worked 
beside  a  woman  in  an  office,  and  he  never  married. 

4.  If  men  would  only  tell  what  they  actually  know 
about  women,  instead  of  what  they  believe  or  hear,  they 
would  receive  more  credit  for  chastity  than  is  now  the 
case,  for  they  deserve  more. 

LACK   OF   SELF-CONFIDENCE 

As  a  people  we  lack  self-confidence.  The  country  is  full 
of  men  that  will  readily  talk  you  to  death  privately,  who 
would  run  away  in  alarm  if  asked  to  preside  at  a  public 
meeting.  In  my  Alliance  movement  I  often  have  trouble 
in  getting  out  a  crowd,  every  farmer  in  the  neighborhood 
feeling  of  so  much  importance  as  to  fear  that  if  he  attends 
he  will  be  called  upon  to  say  something. 

IN  DISPUTE 

In  some  communities  where  I  have  lived  the  women 
were  mean  to  their  husbands;  in  others,  the  husbands 

70 


E.    W.    HOWE 

were  meaa  to  their  wives.  It  is  usually  the  case  that  the 
friends  of  a  wife  believe  her  husband  to  be  a  brute,  and 
the  friends  of  the  husband  believe  the  wife  to  possess  no 
other  talent  than  to  make  him  miserable.  You  can't  tell 
how  it  is ;  tbe  evidence  is  divided. 

MAN 

There  is  only  one  grade  of  men ;  they  are  all  contempti- 
ble. The  judge  may  seem  to  be  a  superior  creature  so 
long  as  he  keeps  at  a  distance,  for  I  have  never  known  one 
who  was  not  constantly  trying  to  look  wise  and  grave ; 
but  when  you  know  him.  you  find  there  is  nothing  re- 
markable about  him  except  a  plug  hat.  a  respectable  coat, 
and  a  great  deal  of  vanity,  induced  by  the  servility  of 
those  who  expect  favors. 

OPPORTUNITY 

You  hear  a  great  many  persons  regretting  lack  of  op- 
portunity. If  every  man  had  opportunity  for  his  desires, 
this  would  be  a  nation  of  murderers  and  disgraced 
women. 

EXPECTATION 

Always  be  ready  for  that  which  you  do  not  expect. 
Nothing  that  you  expect  ever  happens.  You  have  per- 
haps observed  that  when  you  are  waiting  for  a  visitor  at 
the  front  door,  he  comes  in  at  the  back,  and  surprises  you. 

woman's  work 

A  woman's  work  is  never  done,  as  the  almanacs  state. 
for  the  reason  that  she  does  not  go  about  it  in  time  to 
finish  it. 

Vol.    1—7 


A    LETTER    FROM    MR.    BIGGS 

THE  GREATEST  OF  THESE  IS  CHARITY 

If  you  can  not  resist  the  low  impulse  to  talk  about  peo- 
ple, say  only  what  you  actually  know,  instead  of  what  you 
have  heard.  And,  while  you  are  about  it,  stop  and  con- 
sider whether  you  are  not  in  need  of  charity  yourself. 

NEIGHBORS 

Every  man  overestimates  his  neighbors,  because  he 
does  not  know  them  so  well  as  he  knows  himself.  A  sen- 
sible man  despises  himself  because  he  knows  what  a  con- 
temptible creature  he  is.  I  despise  Lytle  Biggs,  but  I 
happen  to  know  that  his  neighbors  are  just  as  bad. 

VIRTUE 

Men  are  virtuous  because  the  women  are;  women  are 
virtuous  from  necessity. 

ASHAMED  OF  THE  TRUTH 

I  believe  I  never  knew  any  one  who  was  not  ashamed 
of  the  truth.  Did  you  ever  notice  that  a  railroad  company 
numbers  its  cars  from  1,000,  instead  of  from  i  ? 

KNOWING  ONLY  ONE  OF  THEM 

We  are  sometimes  unable  to  understand  why  a  pretty 
little  woman  marries  a  fellow  we  know  to  be  worthless; 
but  the  fellow,  who  knows  the  woman  better  than  we  do, 
considers  that  he  has  thrown  himself  away.  We  know 
the  fellow,  but  we  do  not  know  the  woman. 

AN  APOLOGY 

I  detest  an  apology.  The  world  is  full  of  people  who 
are  always  making  trouble  and  apologizing  for  it.    If  a 

72 


E.    \Y.    HOWE 

man  respects  me,  he  will  not  give  himself  occasion  for 
apology.  An  offense  can  not  be  wiped  out  in  that  way. 
If  it  could,  we  would  substitute  apologies  for  hangings.  I 
hope  you  will  never  apologize  to  me:  I  should  regard  it 
as  evidence  that  you  had  wronged  me. 

OLDEST   INHABITANTS 

The  people  of  Smoky  Hill  are  only  fit  for  oldest  inhabi- 
tants. In  thirty  or  forty  years  from  now  there  will  be  a 
great  demand  for  reminiscences  of  the  pioneer  days.  I 
recommend  that  they  preserve  extensive  data  for  the  only 
period  in  their  lives  when  they  can  hope  to  attract  atten- 
tion. 

Be  good  enough,  sir.  to  regard  me.  as  of  old.  your 
friend.  L.  Biggs. 

To  Xed  Westlock.  Twin  Mounds, 


73 


MRS.  JOHNSON 

BY    WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

It  was  on  a  morning  of  the  lovely  New  England  May 
that  we  left  the  horse-car,  and,  spreading  our  umbrellas, 
walked  down  the  street  to  our  new  home  in  Charlesbridge, 
through  a  storm  of  snow  and  rain  so  finely  blent  by  the 
influences  of  this  fortunate  climate,  that  no  flake  knew 
itself  from  its  sister  drop,  or  could  be  better  identified 
by  the  people  against  whom  they  beat  in  unison.  A  vernal 
gale  from  the  east  fanned  our  cheeks  and  pierced  pur 
marrow  and  chilled  our  blood,  while  the  raw,  cold  green 
of  the  adventurous  grass  on  the  borders  of  the  sopping 
side-walks  gave,  as  it  peered  through  its  veil  of  melting 
snow  and  freezing  rain,  a  peculiar  cheerfulness  to  the 
landscape.  Here  and  there  in  the  vacant  lots  abandoned 
hoop-skirts  defied  decay;  and  near  the  half-finished 
wooden  houses,  empty  mortar-beds,  and  bits  of  lath  and 
slate  strewn  over  the  scarred  and  mutilated  ground,  added 
their  interest  to  the  scene.     .     .     . 

This  heavenly  weather,  which  the  Pilgrim  Fathers, 
with  the  idea  of  turning  their  thoughts  effectually  from 
earthly  pleasures,  came  so  far  to  discover,  continued  with 
slight  amelioration  throughout  the  month  of  May  and  far 
into  June;  and  it  was  a  matter  of  constant  amazement 
with  one  who  had  known  less  austere  climates,  to  behold 
how  vegetable  life  struggled  with  the  hostile  skies,  and, 
in  an  atmosphere  as  chill  and  damp  as  that  of  a  cellar, 

74 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

shot  forth  the  buds  and  blossoms  upon  the  pear-trees, 
called  out  the  sour  Puritan  courage  of  the  currant-bushes, 
taught  a  reckless  native  grape-vine  to  wander  and  wanton 
over  the  southern  side  of  the  fence,  and  decked  the  banks 
with  violets  as  fearless  and  as  fragile  as  New  England 
girls;  so  that  about  the  end  of  June,  when  the  heavens 
relented  and  the  sun  blazed  out  at  last,  there  was  little 
for  him  to  do  but  to  redden  and  darken  the  daring  fruits 
that  had  attained  almost  their  full  growth  without  his 
countenance. 

Then,  indeed,  Charlesbridge  appeared  to  us  a  kind  of 
Paradise.  The  wind  blew  all  day  from  the  southwest, 
and  all  day  in  the  grove  across  the  way  the  orioles  sang 
to  their  nestlings.  .  .  .  The  house  was  almost  new 
and  in  perfect  repair ;  and,  better  than  all,  the  kitchen  had 
as  yet  given  no  signs  of  unrest  in  those  volcanic  agencies 
which  are  constantly  at  work  there,  and  which,  with  sud- 
den explosions,  make  Herculaneums  and  Pompeiis  of  so 
many  smiling  households.  Breakfast,  dinner,  and  tea 
came  up  with  illusive  regularity,  and  were  all  the  most 
perfect  of  their  kind ;  and  we  laughed  and  feasted  in  our 
vain  security.  We  had  out  from  the  city  to  banquet  with 
us  the  friends  we  loved,  and  we  were  inexpressibly  proud 
before  them  of  the  Help,  who  first  wrought  miracles  of 
cookery  in  our  honor,  and  then  appeared  in  a  clean  white 
apron,  and  the  glossiest  black  hair,  to  wait  upon  the  table. 
She  was  young,  and  certainly  very  pretty ;  she  was  as  gay 
as  a  lark,  and  was  courted  by  a  young  man  whose  clothes 
would  have  been  a  credit,  if  they  had  not  been  a  reproach, 
to  our  lowly  basement.  She  joyfully  assented  to  the  idea 
of  staying  with  us  till  she  married. 

In  fact,  there  was  much  that  was  extremely  pleasant 
about  the  little  place  when  the  warm  weather  came,  and 
it  was  not  wonderful  to  us  that  Jenny  was  willing  to  re- 

75 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

main.  It  was  very  quiet;  we  called  one  another  to  the 
window  if  a  large  dog  went  by  our  door;  and  whole  days 
passed  without  the  movement  of  any  wheels  but  the 
butcher's  upon  our  street,  which  flourished  in  ragweed 
and  buttercups  and  daisies,  and  in  the  autumn  burned, 
like  the  borders  of  nearly  all  the  streets  in  Charlesbridge, 
with  the  pallid  azure  flame  of  the  succory.  The  neighbor- 
hood was  in  all  things  a  frontier  between  city  and  country. 
The  horse-cars,  the  type  of  such  civilization — full  of  im- 
posture, discomfort,  and  sublime  possibility — as  we  yet 
possess,  went  by  the  head  of  our  street,  and  might,  per- 
haps, be  available  to  one  skilled  in  calculating  the  move- 
ments of  comets ;  while  two  minutes'  walk  would  take  us 
into  a  wood  so  wild  and  thick  that  no  roof  was  visible 
through  the  trees.  We  learned,  like  innocent  pastoral 
people  of  the  golden  age,  to  know  the  several  voices  pf 
the  cows  pastured  in  the  vacant  lots,  and,  like  engine- 
drivers  of  the  iron  age,  to  distinguish  the  different  whis- 
tles of  the  locomotives  passing  on  the  neighboring  rail- 
road.    .     .     . 

We  played  a  little  at  gardening,  of  course,  and  planted 
tomatoes,  which  the  chickens  seemed  to  like,  for  they  ate 
them  up  as  fast  as  they  ripened;  and  we  watched  with 
pride  the  growth  of  our  Lawton  blackberries,  which,  after 
attaining  the  most  stalwart  proportions,  were  still  as  bit- 
ter as  the  scrubbiest  of  their  savage  brethren,  and  which, 
when  by  advice  left  on  the  vines  for  a  week  after  they 
turned  black,  were  silently  gorged  by  secret  and  glutton- 
ous flocks  of  robins  and  orioles.  As  for  our  grapes,  the 
frost  cut  them  off  in  the  hour  of  their  triumph. 

So,  as  I  have  hinted,  we  were  not  surprised  that  Jenny 
should  be  willing  to  remain  with  us,  and  were  as  little 
prepared  for  her  desertion  as  for  any  other  change  of  our 
mortal  state.    But  one  day  in  September  she  came  to  her 

76 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

nominal  mistress  with  tears  in  her  beautiful  eyes  and 
protestations  of  unexampled  devotion  upon  her  tongue, 
and  said  that  she  was  afraid  she  must  leave  us.  She  liked 
the  place,  and  she  never  had  worked  for  any  one  that 
was  more  of  a  lady,  but  she  had  made  up  her  mind  to  go 
into  the  city.  All  this,  so  far,  was  quite  in  the  manner  of 
domestics  who,  in  ghost  stories,  give  warning  to  the  oc- 
cupants of  haunted  houses ;  and  Jenny's  mistress  listened 
in  suspense  for  the  motive  of  her  desertion,  expecting  to 
hear  no  less  than  that  it  was  something  which  walked  up 
and  down  the  stairs  and  dragged  iron  links  after  it,  or 
something  that  came  and  groaned  at  the  front  door,  like 
populace  dissatisfied  with  a  political  candidate.  But  it 
was  in  fact  nothing  of  this  kind;  simply,  there  were  no 
lamps  upon  our  street,  and  Jenny,  after  spending  Sunday 
evening  with  friends  in  East  Charlesbridge,  was  always 
alarmed,  on  her  return,  in  walking  from  the  horse-car  to 
our  door.  The  case  was  hopeless,  and  Jenny  and  our 
household  parted  with  respect  and  regret. 

We  had  not  before  this  thought  it  a  grave  disadvantage 
that  our  street  was  unlighted.  Our  street  was  not  drained 
nor  graded;  no  municipal  cart  ever  came  to  carry  away 
our  ashes ;  there  was  not  a  water-butt  within  half  a  mile 
to  save  us  from  fire,  nor  more  than  the  one-thousandth 
part  of  a  policeman  to  protect  us  from  theft.  Yet,  as  I 
paid  a  heavy  tax,  I  somehow  felt  that  we  enjoyed  the 
benefits  of  city  government,  and  never  looked  upon 
Charlesbridge  as  in  any  way  undesirable  for  residence. 
But  when  it  became  necessary  to  find  help  in  Jenny's 
place,  the  frosty  welcome  given  to  application  at  the  in- 
telligence offices  renewed  a  painful  doubt  awakened  by 
her  departure.  To  be  sure,  the  heads  of  the  offices  were 
polite  enough;  but  when  the  young  housekeeper  had 
stated  her  case  at  the  first  to  which  she  applied,  and  the 

77 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

Intelligencer  had  called  out  to  the  invisible  expectants  in 
the  adjoining  room,  "Anny  wan  wants  to  do  giner'l 
housewark  in  Charlsbrudge  ?"  there  came  from  the  maids 
invoked  so  loud,  so  fierce,  so  full  a  "No!"  as  shook  the 
lady's  heart  with  an  indescribable  shame  and  dread.  The 
name  that,  with  an  innocent  pride  in  its  literary  and  his- 
torical associations,  she  had  written  at  the  heads  of  her 
letters,  was  suddenly  become  a  matter  of  reproach  to  her ; 
and  she  was  almost  tempted  to  conceal  thereafter  that  she 
lived  in  Charlesbridge,  and  to  pretend  that  she  dwelt 
upon  some  wretched  little  street  in  Boston.  "You  see/' 
said  the  head  of  the  office,  "the  gairls  doesn't  like  to  live 
so  far  away  from  the  city.  Now,  if  it  was  on'y  in  the 
Port."     .     .     . 

This  pen  is  not  graphic  enough  to  give  the  remote 
reader  an  idea  of  the  affront  offered  to  an  inhabitant  of 
Old  Charlesbridge  in  these  closing  words.  Neither  am 
I  of  sufficiently  tragic  mood  to  report  here  all  the  suffer- 
ings undergone  by  an  unhappy  family  in  finding  serv- 
ants, or  to  tell  how  the  winter  was  passed  with  miserable 
makeshifts.  Alas!  is  it  not  the  history  of  a  thousand  ex- 
periences? Any  one  who  looks  upon  this  page  could 
match  it  with  a  tale  as  full  of  heartbreak  and  disaster, 
while  I  conceive  that,  in  hastening  to  speak  of  Mrs.  John- 
son, I  approach  a  subject  of  unique  interest.     .     .     . 

I  say,  our  last  Irish  girl  went  with  the  last  snow,  and 
on  one  of  those  midsummer-like  days  that  sometimes  fall 
in  early  April  to  our  yet  bleak  and  desolate  zone,  our 
hearts  sang  of  Africa  and  golden  joys.  A  Libyan  longing 
took  us,  and  we  would  have  chosen,  if  we  could,  to  bear 
a  strand  of  grotesque  beads,  or  a  handful  of  brazen  gauds, 
and  traffic  them  for  some  sable  maid  with  crisp  locks, 
whom,  uncoffling  from  the  captive  train  beside  the  desert, 
we  should  make  to  do  our  general  housework  forever, 

78 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

through  the  right  of  lawful  purchase.  But  we  knew  that 
this  was  impossible,  and  that,  if  we  desired  colored  help, 
we  must  seek  it  at  the  intelligence  office,  which  is  in  one 
of  those  streets  chiefly  inhabited  by  the  orphaned  children 
and  grandchildren  of  slavery.  To  tell  the  truth  these 
orphans  do  not  seem  to  grieve  much  for  their  bereave- 
ment, but  lead  a  life  of  joyous,  and  rather  indolent  ob- 
livion in  their  quarter  of  the  city.  They  are  often  to  be 
seen  sauntering  up  and  down  the  street  by  which  the 
Charlesbridge  cars  arrive, — the  young  with  a  harmless 
swagger,  and  the  old  with  the  generic  limp  which  our 
Autocrat  has  already  noted  as  attending  advanced  years 
in  their  race.  .  .  .  How  gayly  are  the  young  ladies 
of  this  race  attired,  as  they  trip  up  and  down  the  side- 
walks, and  in  and  out  through  the  pendent  garments  at 
the  shop-doors!  They  are  the  black  pansies  and  mari- 
golds and  dark-blooded  dahlias  among  womankind.  They 
try  to  assume  something  of  our  colder  race's  demeanor, 
but  even  the  passer  on  the  horse-car  can  see  that  it  is  not 
native  with  them,  and  is  better  pleased  when  they  forget 
us,  and  ungenteelly  laugh  in  encountering  friends,  letting 
their  white  teeth  glitter  through  the  generous  lips  that 
open  to  their  ears.  In  the  streets  branching  upward  from 
this  avenue,  very  little  colored  men  and  maids  play  with 
broken  or  enfeebled  toys,  or  sport  on  the  wooden  pave- 
ments of  the  entrances  to  the  inner  courts.  Now  and  then 
a  colored  soldier  or  sailor — looking  strange  in  his  uni- 
form, even  after  the  custom  of  several  years — emerge? 
from  those  passages ;  or,  more  rarely,  a  black  gentleman, 
stricken  in  years,  and  cased  in  shining  broadcloth,  walks 
solidly  down  the  brick  sidewalk,  cane  in  hand, — a  vision 
of  serene  self-complacency,  and  so  plainly  the  expression 
of  virtuous  public  sentiment  that  the  great  colored  louts, 
innocent  enough  till  then  in  their  idleness,  are  taken  with 

79 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

a  sudden  sense  of  depravity,  and  loaf  guiltily  up  against 
the  house-walls.  At  the  same  moment,  perhaps,  a  young 
damsel,  amorously  scuffling  with  an  admirer  through  one 
of  the  low  open  windows,  suspends  the  strife,  and  bids 
him, — "Go  along  now,  do!"  More  rarely  yet  than  the 
gentleman  described,  one  may  see  a  white  girl  among  the 
dark  neighbors,  whose  frowsy  head  is  uncovered,  and 
whose  sleeves  are  rolled  up  to  her  elbows,  and  who, 
though  no  doubt  quite  at  home,  looks  as  strange  there  as 
that  pale  anomaly  which  may  sometimes  be  seen  among  a 
crew  of  blackbirds. 

An  air  not  so  much  of  decay  as  of  unthrift,  and  yet 
hardly  of  unthrift,  seems  to  prevail  in  the  neighborhood, 
which  has  none  of  the  aggressive  and  impudent  squalor 
of  an  Irish  quarter,  and  none  of  the  surly  wickedness  of 
a  low  American  street.  A  gayety  not  born  of  the  things 
that  bring  its  serious  joy  to  the  true  New  England  heart 
— a  ragged  gayety,  which  comes  of  summer  in  the  blood, 
and  not  in  the  pocket  or  the  conscience,  and  which  affects 
the  countenance  and  the  whole  demeanor,  setting  the  feet 
to  some  inward  music,  and  at  times  bursting  into  a  line 
of  song  or  a  child-like  and  irresponsible  laugh — gives 
tone  to  the  visible  life,  and  wakens  a  very  friendly  spirit 
in  the  passer,  who  somehow  thinks  there  of  a  milder  cli- 
mate, and  is  half  persuaded  that  the  orange-peel  on  the 
sidewalks  came  from  fruit  grown  in  the  soft  atmosphere 
of  those  back  courts. 

It  was  in  this  quarter,  then,  that  we  heard  of  Mrs.  John- 
son ;  and  it  was  from  a  colored  boarding-house  there  that 
she  came  out  to  Charlesbridge  to  look  at  us,  bringing  her 
daughter  of  twelve  years  with  her.  She  was  a  matron 
of  mature  age  and  portly  figure,  with  a  complexion  like 
coffee  soothed  with  the  richest  cream;  and  her  manners 
were  so  full  of  a  certain  tranquillity  and  grace,  that  she 

80 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

charmed  away  all  our  will  to  ask  for  references.  It  was 
only  her  barbaric  laughter  and  lawless  eye  that  betrayed 
how  slightly  her  New  England  birth  and  breeding  cov- 
ered her  ancestral  traits,  and  bridged  the  gulf  of  a  thou- 
sand years  of  civilization  that  lay  between  her  race  and 
ours.  But  in  fact,  she  was  doubly  estranged  by  descent ; 
for,  as  we  learned  later,  a  sylvan  wildness  mixed  with  that 
of  the  desert  in  her  veins :  her  grandfather  was  an  Indian, 
and  her  ancestors  on  this  side  had  probably  sold  their 
lands  for  the  same  value  in  trinkets  that  bought  the  orig- 
inal African  pair  on  the  other  side. 

The  first  day  that  Mrs.  Johnson  descended  into  our 
kitchen,  she  conjured  from  the  malicious  disorder  in 
which  it  had  been  left  by  the  flitting  Irish  kobold  a  dinner 
that  revealed  the  inspirations  of  genius,  and  was  quite 
different  from  a  dinner  of  mere  routine  and  laborious 
talent.  Something  original  and  authentic  mingled  with 
the  accustomed  flavors ;  and,  though  vague  reminiscences 
of  canal-boat  travel  and  woodland  camps  arose  from  the 
relish  of  certain  of  the  dishes,  there  was  yet  the  assur- 
ance of  such  power  in  the  preparation  of  the  whole,  that 
we  knew  her  to  be  merely  running  over  the  chords  of  our 
appetite  with  preliminary  savors,  as  a  musician  acquaints 
his  touch  with  the  keys  of  an  unfamiliar  piano  before 
breaking  into  brilliant  and  triumphant  execution.  Within 
a  week  she  had  mastered  her  instrument;  and  thereafter 
there  was  no  faltering  in  her  performances,  which  she 
varied  constantly,  through  inspiration  or  from  suggestion. 
.  .  .  But,  after  all,  it  was  in  puddings  that  Mrs.  John- 
son chiefly  excelled.  She  was  one  of  those  cooks — rare 
as  men  of  genius  in  literature — who  love  their  own 
dishes ;  and  she  had,  in  her  personally  child-like  simplicity 
of  taste,  and  the  inherited  appetites  of  her  savage  fore- 
fathers, a  dominant  passion  for  sweets.     So  far  as  we 

81 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

could  learn,  she  subsisted  principally  upon  puddings  and 
tea.  Through  the  same  primitive  instincts,  no  doubt,  she 
loved  praise.  She  openly  exulted  in  our  artless  flatteries 
of  her  skill ;  she  waited  jealously  at  the  head  of  the  kitchen 
stairs  to  hear  what  was  said  of  her  work,  especially  if 
there  were  guests;  and  she  was  never  too  weary  to  at- 
tempt emprises  of  cookery. 

While  engaged  in  these,  she  wore  a  species  of  sightly 
handkerchief  like  a  turban  upon  her  head,  and  about  her 
person  those  mystical  swathings  in  which  old  ladies  of 
the  African  race  delight.  But  she  most  pleasured  our 
sense  of  beauty  and  moral  fitness  when,  after  the  last  pan 
was  washed  and  the  last  pot  was  scraped,  she  lighted  a 
potent  pipe,  and,  taking  her  stand  at  the  kitchen  door, 
laded  the  soft  evening  air  with  its  pungent  odors.  If  we 
surprised  her  at  these  supreme  moments,  she  took  the  pipe 
from  her  lips,  and  put  it  behind  her,  with  a  low,  mellow 
chuckle,  and  a  look  of  half-defiant  consciousness;  never 
guessing  that  none  of  her  merits  took  us  half  so  much  as 
the  cheerful  vice  which  she  only  feigned  to  conceal. 

Some  things  she  could  not  do  so  perfectly  as  cooking 
because  of  her  failing  eyesight,  and  we  persuaded  her  that 
spectacles  would  both  become  and  befriend  a  lady  of  her 
years,  and  so  bought  her  a  pair  of  steel-bowed  glasses. 
She  wore  them  in  some  great  emergencies  at  first,  but  had 
clearly  no  pride  in  them.  Before  long  she  laid  them  aside 
altogether,  and  they  had  passed  from  our  thoughts,  when 
one  day  we  heard  her  mellow  note  of  laughter  and  her 
daughter's  harsher  cackle  outside  our  door,  and,  opening 
it,  beheld  Mrs.  Johnson  in  gold-bowed  spectacles  of  mas- 
sive frame.  We  then  learned  that  their  purchase  was  in 
fulfilment  of  a  vow  made  long  ago,  in  the  life-time  of  Mr. 
Johnson,  that,  if  ever  she  wore  glasses,  they  should  be 
gold-bowed ;  and  I  hope  the  manes  of  the  dead  were  half 

82 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

as  happy  in  these  votive  spectacles  as  the  simple  soul  that 
offered  them. 

She  and  her  late  partner  were  the  parents  of  eleven 
children,  some  of  whom  were  dead,  and  some  of  whom 
were  wanderers  in  unknown  parts.  During  his  life-time 
she  had  kept  a  little  shop  in  her  native  town ;  and  it  was 
only  within  a  few  years  that  she  had  gone  into  service. 
She  cherished  a  natural  haughtiness  of  spirit,  and  resented 
control,  although  disposed  to  do  all  she  could  of  her  own 
notion.  Being  told  to  say  when  she  wanted  an  afternoon, 
she  explained  that  when  she  wanted  an  afternoon  she  al- 
ways took  it  without  asking,  but  always  planned  so  as  not 
to  discommode  the  ladies  with  whom  she  lived.  These, 
she  said,  had  numbered  twenty-seven  within  three  years, 
which  made  us  doubt  the  success  of  her  system  in  all  cases, 
though  she  merely  held  out  the  fact  as  an  assurance  of  her 
faith  in  the  future,  and  a  proof  of  the  ease  with  which 
places  are  to  be  found.  She  contended,  moreover,  that  a 
lady  who  had  for  thirty  years  had  a  house  of  her  own, 
was  in  nowise  bound  to  ask  permission  to  receive  visits 
from  friends  where  she  might  be  living,  but  that  they 
ought  freely  to  come  and  go  like  other  guests.  In  this 
spirit  she  once  invited  her  son-in-law,  Professor  Jones  of 
Providence,  to  dine  with  her ;  and  her  defied  mistress,  on 
entering  the  dining-room,  found  the  Professor  at  pud- 
ding and  tea  there, — an  impressively  respectable  figure  in 
black  clothes,  with  a  black  face  rendered  yet  more  effective 
by  a  pair  of  green  goggles.  It  appeared  that  this  dark 
professor  was  a  light  pf  phrenology  in  Rhode  Island,  and 
that  he  was  believed  to  have  uncommon  virtue  in  his  sci- 
ence by  reason  of  being  blind  as  well  as  black. 

I  am  loath  to  confess  that  Mrs.  Johnson  had  not  a  flat- 
tering opinion  of  the  Caucasian  race  in  all  respects.  In 
fact,  she  had  very  good  philosophical  and  Scriptural  rea- 

83 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

sons  for  looking  upon  us  as  an  upstart  people  of  new 
blood,  who  had  come  into  their  whiteness  by  no  credit- 
able or  pleasant  process.  The  late  Mr.  Johnson,  who  had 
died  in  the  West  Indies,  whither  he  voyaged  for  his  health 
in  quality  of  cook  upon  a  Down-East  schooner,  was  a 
man  of  letters,  and  had  written  a  book  to  show  the  su- 
periority of  the  black  over  the  white  branches  of  the  hu- 
man family.  In  this  he  held  that,  as  all  islands  have  been 
at  their  discovery  found  peopled  by  blacks,  we  must  needs 
believe  that  humanity  was  first  created  of  that  color. 
Mrs.  Johnson  could  not  show  us  her  husband's  work  (a 
sole  copy  in  the  library  of  an  English  gentleman  at  Port 
au  Prince  is  not  to  be  bought  for  money),  but  she  often 
developed  its  arguments  to  the  lady  of  the  house ;  and  one 
day,  with  a  great  show  of  reluctance,  and  many  protests 
that  no  personal  slight  was  meant,  let  fall  the  fact  that 
Mr.  Johnson  believed  the  white  race  descended  from 
Gehaz,  the  leper,  upon  whom  the  leprosy  of  Naaman  fell 
when  the  latter  returned  by  Divine  favor  to  his  original 
blackness.  "And  he  went  out  from  his  presence  a  leper 
as  white  as  snow,"  said  Mrs.  Johnson,  quoting  irrefutable 
Scripture.  "Leprosy,  leprosy,"  she  added  thoughtfully, — 
"nothing  but  leprosy  bleached  you  out." 

It  seems  to  me  much  in  her  praise  that  she  did  not  exult 
in  our  taint  and  degradation,  as  some  white  philosophers 
used  to  do  in  the  opposite  idea  that  a  part  of  the  human 
family  were  cursed  to  lasting  blackness  and  slavery  in 
Ham  and  his  children,  but  even  told  us  of  a  remarkable 
approach  to  whiteness  in  many  of  her  own  offspring.  In 
a  kindred  spirit  pf  charity,  no  doubt,  she  refused  ever  to 
attend  church  with  people  of  her  elder  and  wholesomer 
blood.  When  she  went  to  church,  she  said,  she  always 
went  to  a  white  church,  though  while  with  us  I  am  bound 
to  say  she  never  went  to  any.    She  professed  to  read  her 

84 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

Bible  in  her  bedroom  on  Sundays ;  but  we  suspected,  from 
certain  sounds  and  odors  which  used  to  steal  out  of  this 
sanctuary,  that  her  piety  more  commonly  found  expres- 
sion in  dozing  and  smoking. 

I  would  not  make  a  wanton  jest  here  of  Mrs.  Johnson's 
anxiety  to  claim  honor  for  the  African  color,  while  deny- 
ing this  color  in  many  of  her  own  family.  It  afforded  a 
glimpse  of  the  pain  which  all  her  people  must  endure, 
however  proudly  they  hide  it  or  light-heartedly  forget  it, 
from  the  despite  and  contumely  to  which  they  are  guilt- 
lessly born ;  and  when  I  thought  how  irreparable  was  this 
disgrace  and  calamity  of  a  black  skin,  and  how  irrepara- 
ble it  must  be  for  ages  yet,  in  this  world  where  every 
other  shame  and  all  manner  of  wilful  guilt  and  wicked- 
ness may  hope  for  covert  and  pardon,  I  had  little  heart  to 
laugh.  Indeed,  it  was  so  pathetic  to  hear  this  poor  old 
soul  talk  of  her  dead  and  lost  ones,  and  try,  in  spite  of  all 
Mr.  Johnson's  theories  and  her  own  arrogant  generaliza- 
tions, to  establish  their  whiteness,  that  we  must  have  been 
very  cruel  and  silly  people  to  turn  her  sacred  fables  even 
into  matter  of  question.  I  have  no  doubt  that  her  An- 
toinette Anastasia  and  her  Thomas  Jefferson  Wilberforce 
— it  is  impossible  to  give  a  full  idea  of  the  splendor  and 
scope  of  the  baptismal  names  in  Mrs.  Johnson's  family — 
have  as  light  skins  and  as  golden  hair  in  heaven  as  her 
reverend  maternal  fancy  painted  for  them  in  our  world. 
There,  certainly,  they  would  not  be  subject  to  tanning, 
which  had  ruined  the  delicate  complexion,  and  had 
knotted  into  black  woolly  tangles  the  once  wavy  blonde 
locks  of  our  little  maid-servant  Naomi ;  and  I  would  fain 
believe  that  Toussaint  Washington  Johnson,  who  ran 
away  to  sea  so  many  years  ago,  has  found  some  fortunate 
zone  where  his  hair  and  skin  keep  the  same  sunny  and 
rosy  tints  they  wore  to  his  mother's  eyes  in  infancy.   But 

85 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

I  have  no  means  of  knowing  this,  or  of  telling-  whether 
he  was  the  prodigy  of  intellect  that  he  was  declared  to 
be.  Naomi  could  no  more  be  taken  in  proof  of  the  one  as- 
sertion than  of  the  other.  When  she  came  to  us,  it  was 
agreed  that  she  should  go  to  school ;  but  she  overruled  her 
mother  in  this  as  in  everything  else,  and  never  went.  Ex- 
cept Sunday-school  lessons,  she  had  no  other  instruction 
than  that  her  mistress  gave  her  in  the  evenings,  when  a 
heavy  day's  play  and  the  natural  influences  of  the  hour 
conspired  with  original  causes  to  render  her  powerless 
before  words  of  one  syllable. 

The  first  week  of  her  services  she  was  obedient  and 
faithful  to  her  duties;  but,  relaxing  in  the  atmosphere 
of  a  house  which  seems  to  demoralize  all  menials,  she 
shortly  fell  into  disorderly  ways  of  lying  in  wait  for  call- 
ers out  of  doors,  and,  when  people  rang,  of  running  up 
the  front  steps,  and  letting  them  in  from  the  outside.  As 
the  season  expanded,  and  the  fine  weather  became  con- 
firmed, she  modified  even  this  form  of  service,  and  spent 
her  time  in  the  fields,  appearing  at  the  house  only  when 
nature  importunately  craved  molasses.     .     .     . 

In  her  untamable  disobedience,  Naomi  alone  betrayed 
her  sylvan  blood,  for  she  was  in  all  other  respects  negro 
and  not  Indian.  But  it  was  of  her  aboriginal  ancestry 
that  Mrs.  Johnson  chiefly  boasted, — when  not  engaged  in 
argument  to  maintain  the  superiority  of  the  African  race. 
She  loved  to  descant  upon  it  as  the  cause  and  explanation 
of  her  own  arrogant  habit  of  feeling ;  and  she  seemed  in- 
deed to  have  inherited  something  of  the  Indian's  hauteur 
along  with  the  Ethiop's  supple  cunning  and  abundant 
amiability.  She  gave  many  instances  in  which  her  pride 
had  met  and  overcome  the  insolence  of  employers,  and 
the  kindly  old  creature  was  by  no  means  singular  in  her 
pride  of  being  reputed  proud. 

86 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

She  could  never  have  been  a  woman  of  strong  logical 
faculties,  but  she  had  in  some  things  a  very  surprising 
and  awful  astuteness.  She  seldom  introduced  any  pur- 
pose directly,  but  bore  all  about  it,  and  then  suddenly 
sprung  it  upon  her  unprepared  antagonist.  At  other 
times  she  obscurely  hinted  a  reason,  and  left  a  conclusion 
to  be  inferred ;  as  when  she  warded  off  reproach  for  some 
delinquency  by  saying  in  a  general  way  that  she  had  lived 
with  ladies  who  used  to  come  scolding  into  the  kitchen 
after  they  had  taken  their  bitters.  "Quality  ladies  took 
their  bitters  regular,"  she  added,  to  remove  any  sting  of 
personality  from  her  remark ;  for,  from  many  things  she 
had  let  fall,  we  knew  that  she  did  not  regard  us  as  quality. 
On  the  contrary,  she  often  tried  to  overbear  us  with  the 
gentility  of  her  former  places;  and  would  tell  the  lady 
over  whom  she  reigned,  that  she  had  lived  with  folks 
worth  their  three  and  four  hundred  thousand  dollars,  who 
never  complained  as  she  did  of  the  ironing.  Yet  she  had 
a  sufficient  regard  for  the  literary  occupations  of  the  fam- 
ily, Mr.  Johnson  having  been  an  author.  She  even  pro- 
fessed to  have  herself  written  a  book,  which  was  still  in 
manuscript,  and  preserved  somewhere  among  her  best 
clothes. 

It  was  well,  on  many  accounts,  to  be  in  contact  with 
a  mind  so  original  and  suggestive  as  Mrs.  Johnson's.  We 
loved  to  trace  its  intricate  yet  often  transparent  opera- 
tions, and  were  perhaps  too  fond  of  explaining  its  peculi- 
arities by  facts  pf  ancestry, — of  finding  hints  of  the  Pow- 
wow or  the  Grand  Custom  in  each  grotesque  development. 
We  were  conscious  of  something  warmer  in  this  old  soul 
than  in  ourselves,  and  something  wilder,  and  we  chose 
to  think  it  the  tropic  and  the  untracked  forest.  She  had 
scarcely  any  being  apart  from  her  affection ;  she  had  no 
morality,  but  was  good  because  she  neither  hated  nor 

Vol.  1-8  S7 


MRS.    JOHNSON' 

envied ;  and  she  might  have  been  a  saint  far  more  easily 
than  far  more  civilized  people. 

There  was  that  also  in  her  sinuous  yet  malleable  na- 
ture, so  full  of  guile  and  so  full  of  goodness,  that  re- 
minded us  pleasantly  of  lowly  folks  in  elder  lands,  where 
relaxing  oppressions  have  lifted  the  restraints  of  fear 
between  master  and  servant,  without  disturbing  the  fa- 
miliarity of  their  relation.  She  advised  freely  with  us 
upon  all  household  matters,  and  took  a  motherly  interest 
in  whatever  concerned  us.  She  could  be  flattered  or 
caressed  into  almost  any  service,  but  no  threat  or  com- 
mand could  move  her.  When  she  erred  she  never  ac- 
knowledged her  wrong  in  words,  but  handsomely  ex- 
pressed her  regrets  in  a  pudding,  or  sent  up  her  apologies 
in  a  favorite  dish  secretly  prepared.  We  grew  so  well 
used  to  this  form  of  exculpation,  that,  whenever  Mrs. 
Johnson  took  an  afternoon  at  an  inconvenient  season,  we 
knew  that  for  a  week  afterwards  we  should  be  feasted 
like  princes.  She  owned  frankly  that  she  loved  us,  that 
she  never  had  done  half  so  much  for  people  before,  and 
that  she  never  had  been  nearly  so  well  suited  in  any  other 
place;  and  for  a  brief  and  happy  time  we  thought  that 
we  never  should  part. 

One  day,  however,  our  dividing  destiny  appeared  in  the 
basement,  and  was  presented  to  us  as  Hippolyto  Thucyd- 
ides,  the  son  of  Mrs.  Johnson,  who  had  just  arrived  on 
a  visit  to  his  mother  from  the  State  of  New  Hampshire. 
He  was  a  heavy  and  loutish  youth,  standing  upon  the 
borders  of  boyhood,  and  looking  forward  to  the  future 
with  a  vacant  and  listless  eye.  I  mean  this  was  his  figura- 
tive attitude ;  his  actual  manner,  as  he  lolled  upon  a  chair 
beside  the  kitchen  window,  was  so  eccentric  that  we  felt 
a  little  uncertain  how  to  regard  him,  and  Mrs.  Johnson 
openly  described  him  as  peculiar.    He  was  so  deeply 

88 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

tanned  by  the  fervid  suns  of  the  New  Hampshire  winter, 
and  his  hair  had  so  far  suffered  from  the  example  of  the 
sheep  lately  under  his  charge,  that  he  could  not  be  classed 
by  any  stretch  of  comparison  with  the  blonde  and  straight- 
haired  members  of  Mrs.  Johnson's  family. 

He  remained  with  us  all  the  first  day  until  late  in  the 
afternoon,  when  his  mother  took  him  out  to  get  him  a 
boarding-house.  Then  he  departed  in  the  van  of  her  and 
Naomi,  pausing  at  the  gate  to  collect  his  spirits,  and, 
after  he  had  sufficiently  animated  himself  by  clapping  his 
palms  together,  starting  off  down  the  street  at  a  hand- 
gallop,  to  the  manifest  terror  of  the  cows  in  the  pasture, 
and  the  confusion  of  the  less  demonstrative  people  of  our 
household.  Other  characteristic  traits  appeared  in  Hippo- 
lyto  Thucydides  within  no  very  long  period  of  time,  and 
he  ran  away  from  his  lodgings  so  often  during  the  sum- 
mer that  he  might  be  said  to  board  round  among  the  put- 
lying  cornfields  and  turnip-patches  of  Charlesbridge.  As 
a  check  upon  this  habit,  Mrs.  Johnson  seemed  to  have  in- 
vited him  to  spend  his  whole  time  in  our  basement ;  for 
whenever  we  went  below  we  found  him  there,  balanced — 
perhaps  in  homage  to  us,  and  perhaps  as  a  token  of  ex- 
treme sensibility  in  himself — upon  the  low  window-sill, 
the  bottoms  of  his  boots  touching  the  floor  inside,  and  his 
face  buried  in  the  grass  without. 

We  could  formulate  no  very  tenable  objection  to  all 
this,  and  yet  the  presence  of  Thucydides  in  our  kitchen 
unaccountably  oppressed  our  imaginations.  We  beheld 
him  all  over  the  house,  a  monstrous  eidolon,  balanced 
upon  every  window-sill;  and  he  certainly  attracted  un- 
pleasant notice  to  our  place,  no  less  by  his  furtive  and 
hangdog  manner  of  arrival  than  by  the  bold  displays 
with  which  he  celebrated  his  departures.  We  hinted  this 
to  Mrs.  Johnson,  but  she  could  not  enter  into  our  feeling. 

89 


MRS.    JOHNSON 

Indeed,  all  the  wild  poetry  of  her  maternal  and  primitive 
nature  seemed  to  cast  itself  about  this  hapless  boy ;  and  if 
we  had  listened  to  her  we  should  have  believed  there  was 
no  one  so  agreeable  in  society,  or  so  quick-witted  in  af- 
fairs, as  Hippolyto,  when  he  chose.     .     .     . 

At  last,  when  we  said  positively  that  Thucydides  should 
come  to  us  no  more,  and  then  qualified  the  prohibition  by 
allowing  him  to  come  every  Sunday,  she  answered  that 
she  never  would  hurt  the  child's  feelings  by  telling  him 
not  to  come  where  his  mother  was ;  that  people  who  did 
not  love  her  children  did  not  love  her ;  and  that,  if  Hippy 
went,  she  went.  We  thought  it  a  masterstroke  of  firm- 
ness to  rejoin  that  Hippolyto  must  go  in  any  event;  but 
I  am  bound  to  own  that  he  did  not  go,  and  that  his  mother 
stayed,  and  so  fed  us  with  every  cunning  propitiatory 
dainty,  that  we  must  have  been  Pagans  to  renew  our 
threat.  In  fact,  we  begged  Mrs.  Johnson  to  go  into  the 
country  with  us,  and  she,  after  long  reluctation  on  Hip- 
py's account,  consented,  agreeing  to  send  him  away  to 
friends  during  her  absence. 

We  made  every  preparation,  and  on  the  eve  of  our  de- 
parture Mrs.  Johnson  went  into  the  city  to  engage  her 
son's  passage  to  Bangor,  while  we  awaited  her  return  in 
untroubled  security. 

But  she  did  not  appear  till  midnight,  and  then  re- 
sponded with  but  a  sad  "Well,  sah!"  to  the  cheerful 
"Well,  Mrs.  Johnson !"  that  greeted  her. 

"All  right,  Mrs.  Johnson  ?" 

Mrs.  Johnson  made  a  strange  noise,  half  chuckle  and 
half  death-rattle,  in  her  throat.  "All  wrong,  sah.  Hip- 
py's off  again ;  and  I've  been  all  over  the  city  after  him." 

"Then  you  can't  go  with  us  in  the  morning  ?" 

"How  caw  I,  sah?" 

Mrs.  Johnson  went  sadly  out  of  the  room.   Then  she 

90 


WILLIAM    DEAN    HOWELLS 

came  back  to  the  door  again,  and  opening  it,  uttered,  for 
the  first  time  in  our  service,  words  of  apology  and  regret : 
"I  hope  I  ha'n't  put  you  out  any.  I  wanted  to  go  with 
you,  but  I  ought  to  knowed  I  could  n't.  All  is,  I  loved 
you  too  much.,, 

PASS 

BY    IRONQUILL 

A  father  said  unto  his  hopeful  son, 
"Who  was  Leonidas,  my  cherished  one?" 
The  boy  replied,  with  words  of  ardent  nature, 
"He  was  a  member  of  the  legislature.,, 
"How  ?"  asked  the  parent ;  then  the  youngster  saith : 
"He  got  a  pass,  and  held  her  like  grim  death." 
"Whose  pass  ?  what  pass  ?"  the  anxious  father  cried ; 
"  'T  was  the'r  monopoly,"  the  boy  replied. 

In  deference  to  the  public,  we  must  state, 
That  boy  has  been  an  orphan  since  that  date. 


TEACHING  BY  EXAMPLE 

BY  JOHN  G.  SAXE 

'What  is  the  'Poet's  License/  say  ?" 

Asked  rose-lipped  Anna  of  a  poet. 
'Now  give  me  an  example,  pray, 

That  when  I  see  one  I  may  know  it.' 
Quick  as  a  flash  he  plants  a  kiss 

Where  perfect  kisses  always  fall. 
cNay,  sir!  what  liberty  is  this?" 

"The  Poet's  License, — that  is  all !" 

9i 


WHEN  ALBANI  SANG* 

BY   WILLIAM    HENRY   DRUMMOND 

Was  workin'  away  on  de  farm  dere,  wan  morning  not 

long  ago, 
Feexin'  de  fence  for  winter — 'cos  dat's  w'ere  we  got  de 

snow! 
W'en  Jeremie  Plouffe,  ma  neighbor,  come  over  an'  spik 

wit'  me, 
"Antoine,  you  will  come  on  de  city,  for  hear  Ma-dam 

All-ba-nee?" 

"W'at  you  mean?"  I  was  savin'  right  off,  me,  "Some 
woman  was  mak'  de  speech, 

Or  girl  on  de  Hooraw  Circus,  doin'  high  kick  an' 
screech  ?" 

"Non — non,"  he  is  spikin' — "Excuse  me,  dat's  be  Ma- 
dam All-ba-nee 

Was  leevin'  down  here  on  de  contree,  two  mile  'noder  side 
Chambly. 

"She's  jus'  comin'  over  from  Englan',  on  steamboat  ar- 
rive Kebeck, 

Singin'  on  Lunnon  an'  Paree,  an'  havin'  beeg  tarn,  I  ex- 
pec', 

But  no  matter  de  moche  she  enjoy  it,  for  travel  all  roun' 
de  worl', 

Somet'ing  on  de  heart  bring  her  back  here,  for  she  was  de 
Chambly  girl. 

*From  "The  Habitant  and  Other  French  Canadian  Poems,"  by 
William  Henry  Drummond.  Copyright  1897  by  G.  P.  Putnam's  Sons. 

92 


WILLIAM    HENRY   DRUMMOND 


u 


She  never  do  noting  but  singin'  an*  makin,  de  beeg 

grande  tour 
An*  travel  on  summer  an*  winter,  so  mus'  be  de  firs'  class 

for  sure ! 
Ev'ryboddy  I'm  t'inkin'  was  know  her,  an'  I  also  hear 

'noder  t'ing, 
She's  frien'  on  La  Reine  Victoria  an'  show  her  de  way  to 

sing!" 

"Wall,"  I  say,  "you're  sure  she  is  Chambly,  w'at  you  call 

Ma-dam  All-ba-nee  ? 
Don't  know  me  dat  nam'  on  de  Canton — I  hope  you're  not 

fool  wit' me?" 
An  he  say,  "Lajeunesse,  dey  was  call  her,  before  she  is 

come  mariee, 
But  she's  takin'  de  nam'  of  her  husban' — I  s'pose  dat's  de 

only  way." 

"C'est  bon,  mon  ami,"  I  was  say  me,  "If  I  get  t'roo  de 
fence  nex'  day 

An'  she  don't  want  too  moche  on  de  monee,  den  mebbe  I 
see  her  play." 

So  I  finish  dat  job  on  to-morrow,  Jeremie  he  was  helpin' 
me  too, 

An'  I  say,  "Len'  me  t'ree  dollar  quickly  for  mak'  de  voy- 
age wit'  you." 

Correc* — so  we're  startin'  nex'  morning,  an'  arrive  Mon- 
treal all  right, 

Buy  dollar  tiquette  on  de  bureau,  an'  pass  on  de  hall  dat 
night. 

Beeg  crowd,  wall !  I  bet  you  was  dere  too,  all  dress  on 
some  fancy  dress, 

De  lady,  I  don't  say  not'ing,  but  man's  all  w'ite  shirt  an' 
no  ves'. 

93 


WHEN    ALBANI    SANG 

Don't  matter,  w'en  ban'  dey  be  ready,  de  foreman  strek 

out  wit'  hees  steek, 
An'  fiddle  an'  ev'ryt'ing  else  too,  begin  for  play  up  de 

musique. 
It's  fonny  t'ing  too  dey  was  play  in'  don't  lak  it  mese'f 

at  all, 
I  rader  be  lissen  some  jeeg,  me,  or  w'at  you  call  "After 

de  ball." 

An'  I'm  not  feelin'  very  surprise  den,  w'en  de  crowd  holler 

out,  "Encore," 
For  mak'  all  dem  feller  commencin'  an'  try  leetle  piece 

some  more, 
'Twas  better  wan'  too,  I  be  t'inkin',  but  slow  lak  you're 

goin'  to  die, 
All  de  sam',  noboddy  say  not'ing,  dat  mean  dey  was 

satisfy. 

Affer  dat  come  de  Grande  piano,  lak  we  got  on  Chambly 

Hotel, 
She's  nice  lookin'  girl  was  play  dat,  so  of  course  she's  go 

off  purty  well, 
Den  feller  he's  ronne  out  an'  sing  some,  it's  all  about  very 

fine  moon. 
Dat  shine  on  Canal,  ev'ry  night  too,  I'm  sorry  I  don't 

know  de  tune. 

Nex'  t'ing  I  commence  get  excite,  me,  for  I  don't  see  no 

great  Ma-dam  yet, 
Too  bad  I  was  los  all  dat  monee,  an'  too  late  for  de  raffle 

tiquette ! 
W'en  jus'  as  I  feel  very  sorry,  for  come  all  de  way  from 

Chambly, 
Jeremie  he  was  w'isper,  "Tiens,  tiens,  prenez  garde,  she's 

comin'  Ma-dam  All-ba-nee!" 

94 


WILLIAM    HENRY    DRUMMOND 

Ev'ryboddy  seem  glad  w'en  dey  see  her,  come  walkin* 

right  down  de  platform, 
An*  way  dey  mak'  noise  on  de  han'  den,  w'y !  it's  jus'  lak 

de  beeg  tonder  storm ! 
I'll  never  see  not'ing  lak  dat,  me,  no  matter  I  travel  de 

worl', 
An'  Ma-dam,  you  t'ink  it  was  scare  her?  Non,  she  laugh 

lak  de  Chambly  girl ! 

Dere  was  young  feller  comin'  behin'   her,   walk  nice, 

comme  un  Cavalier, 
An'  before  All-ba-nee  she  is  ready  an'  piano  get  startin' 

for  play, 
De  feller  commence  wit'  hees  singin',  more  stronger  dan 

all  de  res', 
I  t'ink  he's  got  very  bad  manner,  know  not'ing  at  all 

politesse. 

Ma-dam,  I  s'pose  she  get  mad  den,  an'  before  anyboddy 

can  spik, 
She  settle  right  down  for  mak'  sing  too,  an'  purty  soon 

ketch  heem  up  quick, 
Den  she's  kip  it  on  gamin'  an'  gainin',  till  de  song  it  is 

tout  finis, 
An'  w'en  she  is  beatin'  dat  feller,  Bagosh!   I  am  proud 

Chambly ! 

I'm  not  very  sorry  at  all,  me,  w'en  de  feller  was  ronnin' 
away, 

An'  man  he's  come  out  wit'  de  piccolo,  an'  start  heem 
right  off  for  play, 

For  it's  kin'  de  musique  I  be  fancy,  Jeremie  he  is  lak  it 
also, 

An'  wan  de  bes'  t'ing  on  dat  ev'ning  is  man  wit'  de  pic- 
colo! 

95 


WHEN    ALBANI    SANG 

Den  mebbe  ten  minute  is  passin',  Ma-dam  she  is  comin' 

encore, 
Dis  tarn  all  alone  on  de  platform,  dat  feller  don't  show  up 

no  more, 
An'  w'en  she  start  off  on  de  singin'  Jeremie  say,  "Antoine, 

dat's  Frangais," 
Dis  give  us  more  pleasure,  I  tole  you,  'cos  w'y  ?  We're  de 

pure  Canayen ! 

Dat  song  I  will  never  forget  me,  't  was  song  of  de  leetle 

bird, 
W'en  he's  fly  from  it's  nes'  on  de  tree  top,  'fore  res'  of  de 

worl'  get  stirred, 
Ma-dam  she  was  tole  us  about  it,  den  start  off  so  quiet  an' 

low, 
An'  sing  lak  de  bird  on  de  morning,  de  poor  leetle  small 

oiseau. 

I  'member  wan  tarn  I  be  sleepin'  jus'  onder  some  beeg  pine 

tree 
An  song  of  de  robin  wak'  me,  but  robin  he  don't  see  me, 
Dere's  not'ing  for  scarin'  dat  bird  dere,  he's  feel  all  alone 

on  de  worl', 
Wall !  Ma-dam  she  mus'  lissen  lak  dat  too,  w'en  she  was 

de  Chambly  girl ! 

Cos  how  could  she  sing  dat  nice  chanson,  de  sam'  as  de 

bird  I  was  hear, 
Till  I  see  it  de  maple  an'  pine  tree  an'  Richelieu  ronnin' 

near, 
Again  I'm  de  leetle  feller,  lak  young  colt  upon  de  spring 
Dat's  jus'  on  de  way  I  was  feel,  me,  w'en  Ma-dam  All-ba- 

nee  is  sing ! 

96 


WILLIAM    HENRY    DRUMMOND 

An*  affer  de  song  it  is  finish,  an'  crowd  is  mak'  noise  wit' 

its  han', 
I  s'pose  dey  be  t'inkin'  I'm  crazy,  dat  mebbe  I  don't  on- 

derstan', 
Cos  Fm  set  on  de  chair  very  quiet,  mese'f  an'  poor  Jere- 

mie, 
An*  I  see  dat  hees  eye  it  was  cry  too,  jus'  sam'  way  it  go 

wit'  me. 

Dere's  rosebush  outside  on  our  garden,  ev'ry  spring  it  has 

got  new  nes', 
But  only  wan  bluebird  is  buil'  dere,  I  know  her  from  all 

de  res', 
An'  no  matter  de  far  she  be  flyin'  away  on  de  winter  tarn, 
Back  to  her  own  leetle  rosebush  she's  comin'  dere  jus'  de 

sam\ 

We're  not  de  beeg  place  on  our  Canton,  mebbe  cole  on  de 

winter,  too, 
But  de  heart's  "Canayen"  on  pur  body  an'  dat's  warm 

enough  for  true ! 
An*  w'en  All-ba-nee  was  got  lonesome  for  travel  all  roun' 

de  worl' 
I  hope  she'll  come  home,  lak  de  bluebird,  an'  again  be  de 

Chambly  girl ! 


97 


COLONEL  STERETT'S  PANTHER  HUNT 

BY    ALFRED    HENRY    LEWIS 

"Panthers,  what  we-all  calls  'mountain  lions/ "  ob- 
served the  Old  Cattleman,  wearing  meanwhile  the  sapient 
air  of  him  who  feels  equipped  of  his  subject,  "is  plenty 
furtive,  not  to  say  mighty  sedyoolous  to  skulk.  That's 
why  a  gent  don't  meet  up  with  more  of  'em  while  piroot- 
in'  about  in  the  hills.  Them  cats  hears  him,  or  they  sees 
him,  an'  him  still  ignorant  tharof ;  an'  with  that  they  bash- 
fully withdraws.  Which  it's  to  be  urged  in  favor  of 
mountain  lions  that  they  never  forces  themse'fs  on  no 
gent;  they're  shore  considerate,  that  a-way,  an'  speshul 
of  themse'fs.  If  one's  ever  hurt,  you  can  bet  it  won't  be 
a  accident.  However,  it  ain't  for  me  to  go  'round  im- 
pugnin'  the  motives  of  no  mountain  lion ;  partic'lar  when 
the  entire  tribe  is  strangers  to  me  complete.  But  still  a 
love  of  trooth  compels  me  to  concede  that  if  mountain 
lions  ain't  cowardly,  they're  shore  cautious  a  lot.  Cattle 
an'  calves  they  passes  up  as  too  bellicose,  an'  none  of  'em 
ever  faces  any  anamile  more  warlike  than  a  baby  colt  or 
mebby  a  half-grown  deer.  I'm  ridin'  along  the  Caliente 
once  when  I  hears  a  crashin'  in  the  bushes  on  the  bluff 
above — two  hundred  foot  high,  she  is,  an'  as  sheer  as  the 
walls  of  this  yere  tavern.  As  I  lifts  my  eyes,  a  fear- 
frenzied  mare  an'  colt  comes  chargin'  up  an'  projects 
themse'fs  over  the  precipice  an'  lands  in  the  valley  below. 
They're  dead  as  Joolius  Caesar  when  I  rides  onto  'em, 

98 


ALFRED    HENRY   LEWIS 

while  a  brace  of  mountain  lions  is  skirtin'  up  an'  down 
the  aige  of  the  bluff  they  leaps  from,  mewin'  an'  lashin' 
their  long  tails  in  hot  enthoosiasm.  Shore,  the  cats  has 
been  chasm*  the  mare  an'  foal,  an'  they  locoes  'em  to 
that  extent  they  don't  know  where  they're  headin'  an' 
makes  the  death  jump  I  relates.  I  bangs  away  with  my 
six-shooter,  but  beyond  givin'  the  mountain  lions  a  con- 
vulsive start  I  can't  say  I  does  any  execootion.  They 
turns  an'  goes  streakin'  it  through  the  pine  woods  like  a 
drunkard  to  a  barn  raisin'. 

"Timid?  Shore!  They're  that  timid,  seminary  girls 
compared  to  'em  is  as  sternly  courageous  as  a  passel  of 
buccaneers.  Out  in  Mitchell's  canyon  a  couple  of  the 
Lee-Scott  riders  cuts  the  trail  of  a  mountain  lion  and  her 
two  kittens.  Now  whatever  do  you-all  reckon  this  old 
tabby  does?  Basely  deserts  her  offsprings  without  even 
barm*  a  tooth,  an'  the  cow-punchers  takes  'em  gently  by 
their  tails  an'  beats  out  their  joovenile  brains.  That's 
straight;  that  mother  lion  goes  swarmin'  up  the  canyon 
like  she  ain't  got  a  minute  to  live.  An'  you  can  gamble 
the  limit  that  where  a  anamile  sees  its  children  perish 
without  frontin'  up  for  war,  it  don't  possess  the  common- 
est roodiments  of  sand.    Sech,  son,  is  mountain  lions. 

"It's  one  evenin'  in  the  Red  Light  when  Colonel  Sterett, 
who's  got  through  his  day's  toil  on  that  Coyote  paper  he's 
editor  of,  onfolds  concernin'  a  panther  round-up  which 
he  pulls  off  in  his  yooth. 

"  This  panther  hunt,'  says  Colonel  Sterett,  as  he  fills 
his  third  tumbler,  'occurs  when  mighty  likely  I'm  goin' 
on  seventeen  winters.  I'm  a  leader  among  my  young 
companions  at  the  time ;  in  fact,  I  allers  is.  An'  I'm  proud 
to  say  that  my  soopremacy  that  a-way  is  doo  to  the  dom'- 
nant  character  of  my  intellects.  I'm  ever  bright  an' 
sparklin'  as  a  child,  an'  I  recalls  how  my  aptitoode  for 

99 


COLONEL    STERETT'S    PANTHER   HUNT 

learnin'  promotes  me  to  be  regyarded  as  the  smartest  lad 
in  my  set.  If  thar's  visitors  to  the  school,  or  if  the 
selectman  invades  that  academy  to  sort  o'  size  us  up,  the 
teacher  allers  plays  me  on  'em.  I'd  go  to  the  front  for  the 
outfit.  Which  I'm  wont  on  sech  harrowin'  o'casions  to 
recite  a  ode — the  teacher's  done  wrote  it  himse'f — an' 
which  is  entitled  Napoleon's  Mad  Career.  Thar's  twenty- 
four  stanzas  to  it;  an'  while  these  interlopin'  selectmen 
sets  thar  lookin'  owley  an'  sagacious,  I'd  wallop  loose 
with  the  twenty-four  verses,  stampin'  up  and  down,  an' 
accompanyin'  said  recitations  with  sech  a  multitood  of 
reckless  gestures,  it  comes  plenty  clost  to  backin'  every- 
body plumb  outen  the  room.  Yere's  the  first  verse : 

I'd  drink  an'  sw'ar  an'  r'ar  an'  t'ar 

An'  fall  down  in  the  mud, 
While  the  y'earth  for  forty  miles  about 

Is  kivered  with  my  blood. 

"  'You-all  can  see  from  that  speciment  that  our  school- 
master ain't  simply  flirtin'  with  the  muses  when  he  origi- 
nates that  epic ;  no,  sir,  he  means  business ;  an'  whenever 
I  throws  it  into  the  selectmen,  I  does  it  jestice.  The  trus- 
tees used  to  silently  line  out  for  home  when  I  finishes,  an' 
never  a  yeep.  It  stuns  'em ;  it  shore  fills  'em  to  the  brim ! 

"  'As  I  gazes  r'arward,'  goes  on  the  Colonel,  as  by  one 
rapt  impulse  he  uplifts  both  his  eyes  an'  his  nosepaint,  'as 
I  gazes  r'arward,  I  says,  on  them  sun-filled  days,  an' 
speshul  if  ever  I  gets  betrayed  into  talkin'  about  'em,  I 
can  hardly  t'ar  myse'f  from  the  subject.  I  explains  yere- 
tofore,  that  not  only  by  inclination  but  by  birth,  I'm  a 
shore-enough  'ristocrat.  This  captaincy  of  local  fashion 
I  assoomes  at  a  tender  age.  I  wears  the  record  as  the  first 
child  to  don  shoes  throughout  the  entire  summer  in  that 
neighborhood ;  an'  many  a  time  an'  oft  does  my  yoothful 

ioo 


ALFRED    HENRY    LEWIS 

but  envy-eaten  compeers  lambaste  me  for  the  insultin'  in- 
novation. But  I  sticks  to  my  moccasins ;  an'  to-day  shoes 
in  the  Bloo  Grass  is  almost  as  yooniversal  as  the  licker 
habit. 

"  'Thar  dawns  a  hour,  however,  when  my  p'sition  in  the 
van  of  Kaintucky  ton  comes  within  a  ace  of  bein'  ser'ously 
shook.  It's  on  my  way  to  school  one  dewy  mornin'  when 
I  gets  involved  all  inadvertent  in  a  onhappy  rupture  with 
a  polecat.  I  never  does  know  how  the  misonderstandin' 
starts.  After  all,  the  seeds  of  said  dispoote  is  by  no  means 
important ;  it's  enough  to  say  that  polecat  finally  has  me 
thoroughly  convinced. 

"  'Followin'  the  difference  an'  my  defeat,  I'm  witless 
enough  to  keep  goin'  on  to  school,  whereas  I  should  have 
returned  homeward  an'  cast  myse'f  upon  my  parents  as  a 
sacred  trust.  Of  course,  when  I'm  in  school  I  don't  go 
impartin'  my  troubles  to  the  other  chil'en;  I  emyoolates 
the  heroism  of  the  Spartan  boy  who  stands  to  be  eat  by  a 
fox,  an'  keeps  'em  to  myself.  But  the  views  of  my  late 
enemy  is  not  to  be  smothered ;  they  appeals  to  my  young 
companions ;  who  tharupon  puts  up  a  most  onneedful  riot 
of  coughin's  an'  sneezin's.  But  nobody  knows  me  as  the 
party  who's  so  pungent. 

"  'It's  a  tryin'  moment.  I  can  see  that,  once  I'm  lo- 
cated, I'm  goin'  to  be  as  onpop'lar  as  a  b'ar  in  a  hawg  pen ; 
I'll  come  tumblin'  from  my  pinnacle  in  that  proud  com- 
moonity  as  the  glass  of  fashion  an'  the  mold  of  form. 
You  can  go  your  bottom  peso,  the  thought  causes  me  to 
feel  plenty  perturbed. 

"  'At  this  peril  I  has  a  inspiration ;  as  good,  too,  as  I 
ever  entertains  without  the  aid  of  rum.  I  determines  to 
cast  the  opprobrium  on  some  other  boy  an'  send  the  hunt 
of  gen'ral  indignation  sweepin'  along  his  trail. 

"  'Thar's  a  innocent  infant  who's  a  stoodent  at  this 

IOI 


COLONEL    STERETT'S    PANTHER    HUNT 

temple  of  childish  learnin,  an'  his  name  is  Riley  Bark. 
This  Riley  is  one  of  them  giant  children  who's  only 
twelve  an'  weighs  three  hundred  pounds.  An'  in  propor- 
tions as  Riley  is  a  son  of  Anak,  physical,  he's  dwarfed 
mental ;  he  ain't  half  as  well  upholstered  with  brains  as  a 
shepherd  dog.  That's  right;  Riley's  intellects,  is  like  a 
fly  in  a  saucer  of  syrup,  they  struggles  'round  plumb  slow. 
I  decides  to  uplift  Riley  to  the  public  eye  as  the  felon 
who's  disturbin'  that  seminary's  sereenity.  Comin'  to  this 
decision,  I  p'ints  at  him  where  he's  planted  four  seats 
ahead,  all  tangled  up  in  a  spellin'  book,  an'  says  in  a  loud 
whisper  to  a  child  who's  sittin'  next : 

"'"Throw  him  out!" 

"  'That's  enough.  No  gent  will  ever  realize  how  easy 
it  is  to  direct  a  people's  sentiment  ontil  he  take  a  whirl 
at  the  game.  In  two  minutes  by  the  teacher's  bull's-eye 
copper  watch,  every  soul  knows  it's  pore  Riley;  an'  in 
three,  the  teacher's  done  drug  Riley  out  doors  by  the  ha'r 
of  his  head  an'  chased  him  home.  Gents,  I  look  back  on 
that  yoothful  feat  as  a  triumph  of  diplomacy;  it  shore 
saved  my  standin'  as  the  Beau  Brummel  of  the  Bloo  Grass 

"  'Good  old  days,  them !'  observes  the  Colonel  mourn- 
fully, 'an'  ones  never  to  come  ag'in !  My  sternest  studies 
is  romances,  an'  the  peroosals  of  old  tales  as  I  tells  you-all 
prior  fills  me  full  pf  moss  an'  mockin'  birds  in  equal  parts. 
I  reads  deep  of  Walter  Scott  an'  waxes  to  be  a  sharp  on 
Moslems  speshul.  I  dreams  of  the  Siege  of  Acre,  an' 
Richard  the  Lion  Heart;  an'  I  simply  can't  sleep  nights 
for  honin'  to  hold  a  tournament  an'  joust  a  whole  lot  for 
some  fair  lady's  love. 

"  'Once  I  commits  the  error  of  my  career  by  joustin' 
with  my  brother  Jeff.  This  yere  Jeff  is  settin'  on  the  bank 
of  the  Branch  flshin'  for  bullpouts  at  the  time,  an'  JefT 
don't  know  I'm  hoverin'  near  at  all.  Jeff's  reedic'lous  fond 

1 02 


ALFRED    HENRY    LEWIS 

of  fishin' ;  which  he'd  sooner  fish  than  read  Paradise  Lost. 
I'm  romancin'  along,  sim'larly  bent,  when  I  notes  Jefl 
perched  on  the  bank.  To  my  boyish  imagination  Jeff  at 
once  turns  to  be  a  Paynim.  I  drops  my  bait  box,  couches 
my  fishpole,  an'  emittin'  a  impromptoo  warcry,  charges 
him.  It's  the  work  of  a  moment ;  Jeff's  onhossed  an'  falls 
into  the  Branch. 

"  'But  thar's  bitterness  to  follow  vict'ry.  Jeff  emerges 
like  Diana  from  the  bath  an'  f rales  the  wamus  off  me  with 
a  club.  Talk  of  puttin'  a  crimp  in  folks!  Gents,  when 
Jeff's  wrath  is  assuaged  I'm  all  on  one  side  like  the  lean- 
in'  tower  of  Pisa.  Jeff  actooally  confers  a  skew-gee  to 
my  spinal  column. 

"  *A  week  later  my  folks  takes  me  to  a  doctor.  That 
practitioner  puts  on  his  specs  an'  looks  me  over  with 
jealous  care. 

" '  "Whatever's  wrong  with  him,  Doc  ?"  says  my 
father. 

"  *  "Nothin',"  says  the  physician,  "only  your  son 
Willyum's  five  inches  out  o'  plumb." 

"  'Then  he  rigs  a  contraption  made  up  of  guy- ropes 
an'  stay-laths,  an'  I  has  to  wear  it ;  an'  mebby  in  three  or 
four  weeks  or  so  he's  got  me  warped  back  into  the  per- 
pendic'lar.' 

"  'But  how  about  this  cat  hunt  ?'  asks  Dan  Boggs. 
'Which  I  don't  aim  to  be  introosive  none,  but  I'm  camped 
yere  through  the  second  drink  waitin'  for  it,  an'  these  pro- 
crastinations is  makn'  me  kind  o'  batty/ 

"  That  panther  hunt  is  like  this,'  says  the  Colonel, 
turnin'  to  Dan.  'At  the  age  of  seventeen,  me  an'  eight  or 
nine  of  my  intimate  brave  comrades  founds  what  we-all 
denom'nates  as  the  "Chevy  Chase  Huntin'  Club."  Each 
of  us  maintains  a  passel  of  odds  an'  ends  of  dogs,  an'  at 
stated  intervals  we  convenes  on  hosses,  an'  with  these 

Vol.  1—9  3 


COLONEL    STERETTS    PANTHER    HUNT 

fourscore  curs  at  our  tails  goes  yellin'  an*  skally-hootin' 
up  an'  down  the  countryside  allowin'  we're  shore  a  band 
of  Nimrods. 

"  'The  Chevy  Chasers  ain't  been  in  bein'  as  a  institoo- 
tion  over  long  when  chance  opens  a  gate  to  ser'ous  work. 
The  deep  snows  in  the  Eastern  mountains  it  looks  like 
has  done  drove  a  panther  into  our  neighborhood.  You 
could  hear  of  him  on  all  sides.  Folks  glimpses  him  now 
an'  then.  They  allows  he's  about  the  size  of  a  yearlin' 
calf;  an'  the  way  he  pulls  down  sech  feeble  people  as 
sheep  or  lays  desolate  some  he'pless  henroost  don't  bother 
him  a  bit.  This  panther  spreads  a  horror  over  the  county. 
Dances,  pra'er  meetin's,  an'  even  poker  parties  is  broken 
up,  an'  the  social  life  of  that  region  begins  to  bog  down. 
Even  a  weddin'  suffers ;  the  bridesmaids  stayin'  away  lest 
this  ferocious  monster  should  show  up  in  the  road  an' 
chaw  one  of  'em  while  she's  en  route  for  the  scene  of 
trouble.  That's  gospel  trooth!  the  pore  deserted  bride 
has  to  heel  an'  handle  herse'f  an'  never  a  friend  to  yoonite 
her  sobs  with  hers  doorin'  that  weddin'  ordeal.  The  old 
ladies  present  shakes  their  heads  a  heap  solemn. 

" '  "It's  a  worse  augoory,"  says  one,  "than  the  hoots 
of  a  score  of  squinch  owls." 

"  'When  this  reign  of  terror  is  at  its  height,  the  local 
eye  is  rolled  appealin'ly  towards  us  Chevy  Chasers.  We 
rises  to  the  opportoonity.  Day  after  day  we're  ridin'  the 
hills  an'  vales,  readin'  the  milk  white  snow  for  tracks. 
An'  we  has  success.  One  mornin'  I  comes  up  on  two  of 
the  Brackenridge  boys  an'  five  more  of  the  Chevy  Chasers 
settin'  on  their  hosses  at  the  Skinner  cross  roads.  Bob 
Crittenden's  gone  to  turn  me  out,  they  says.  Then  they 
p'ints  down  to  a  handful  of  close-wove  bresh  an'  stunted 
timber  an'  allows  that  this  maraudin'  cat-o-mount  is  hid- 
in'  thar ;  they  sees  him  go  skulkin'  in. 

104 


ALFRED    HENRY    LEWIS 


<<  <t 


'Gents,  I  ain't  above  admittin'  that  the  news  puts  my 
heart  to  a  canter.  I'm  brave ;  but  conflicts  with  wild  an' 
savage  beasts  is  to  me  a  novelty  an'  while  I  faces  my  fate 
without  a  flutter,  I'm  yere  to  say  I'd  sooner  been  in  pur- 
soot  of  minks  or  raccoons  or  some  varmint  whose  griev- 
ous cap'bilities  I  can  more  ackerately  stack  up  an'  in  whose 
merry  ways  I'm  better  versed.  However,  the  dauntless 
blood  of  my  grandsire  mounts  in  my  cheek ;  an'  as  if  the 
shade  of  that  old  Trojan  is  thar  personal  to  su'gest  it,  I 
searches  forth  a  flask  an'  renoos  my  sperit ;  thus  qualified 
for  perils,  come  in  what  form  they  may,  I  resolootely 
stands  my  hand. 

"  Thar's  forty  dogs  if  thar's  one  in  our  company  as 
we  pauses  at  the  Skinner  cross-roads.  An'  when  the  Crit- 
tenden yooth  returns,  he  brings  with  him  the  Rickett  boys 
an'  forty  added  dogs.  Which  it's  worth  a  ten-mile  ride  to 
get  a  glimpse  of  that  outfit  of  canines !  Thar's  every  sort 
onder  the  canopy:  thar's  the  stolid  hound,  the  alert  fice, 
the  sapient  collie ;  that  is  thar's  individyool  beasts  wherein 
the  hound,  or  fice,  or  collie  seems  to  preedominate  as  a 
strain.  The  trooth  is  thar's  not  that  dog  a-whinin'  about 
our  hosses'  fetlocks  who  ain't  proudly  descended  from 
fifteen  different  tribes,  an'  they  shorely  makes  a  motley 
mass  meetin'.  Still,  they're  good,  zealous  dogs;  an'  as 
they're  going  to  go  for'ard  an'  take  most  of  the  resks  of 
that  panther,  it  seems  invidious  to  criticize  'em. 

"  'One  of  the  Twitty  boys  rides  down  an'  puts  the 
eighty  or  more  dogs  into  the  bresh.  The  rest  of  us  lays 
back  an'  strains  our  eyes.  Thar  he  is!  A  shout  goes  up 
as  we  descries  the  panther  stealin'  off  by  a  far  corner. 
He's  headin'  along  a  hollow  that's  full  of  bresh  an'  baby 
timber  an*  runs  parallel  with  the  pike.  Big  an'  yaller  he 
is ;  we  can  tell  from  the  slight  flash  we  gets  of  him  as  he 
darts  into  a  second  clump  of  bushes.   With  a  cry — what 

105 


COLONEL    STERETT'S    PANTHER    HUNT 

young  Crittenden  calls  a  "view  halloo,' ' — we  goes  stam- 
peedin'  down  the  pike  in  pursoot. 

"  'Our  dogs  is  sta'nch ;  they  shore  does  themse'fs  proud. 
Singin'  in  twenty  keys,  reachin'  from  growls  to  yelps  an' 
from  yelps  to  shrillest  screams,  they  pushes  dauntlessly 
on  the  fresh  trail  of  their  terrified  quarry.  Now  an'  then 
we  gets  a  squint  of  the  panther  as  he  skulks  from  one 
copse  to  another  jest  ahead.  Which  he's  goin'  like  a 
arrow ;  no  mistake !  As  for  us  Chevy  Chasers,  we  paral- 
lels the  hunt,  an'  continyoos  poundin'  the  Skinner  turn- 
pike abreast  of  the  pack,  ever  an'  anon  givin'  a  encour- 
agin'  shout  as  we  briefly  sights  our  game. 

"  'Gents/  says  Colonel  Sterett,  as  he  ag'in  refreshes 
hims'ef,  'it's  needless  to  go  over  that  hunt  in  detail.  We 
hustles  the  flyin'  demon  full  eighteen  miles,  our  faithful 
dogs  crowdin'  close  an'  breathless  at  his  coward  heels. 
Still,  they  don't  catch  up  with  him ;  he  streaks  it  like  some 
saffron  meteor. 

"  'Only  once  does  we  approach  within  strikin'  distance ; 
that's  when  he  crosses  at  old  Stafford's  whisky  still.  As 
he  glides  into  view,  Crittenden  shouts : 

"  '  "Thar  he  goes !" 

"  'For  myse'f  I'm  prepared.  I've  got  one  of  these  mis- 
guided cap-an'-ball  six-shooters  that's  built  doorin'  the 
war ;  an'  I  cuts  that  hardware  loose !  This  weapon  seems 
a  born  profligate  of  lead,  for  the  six  chambers  goes  off 
together.  Which  you  should  have  seen  the  Chevy  Chasers 
dodge !  An'  well  they  may ;  that  broadside  ain't  in  vain ! 
My  aim  is  so  troo  that  one  of  the  r'armost  dogs  evolves  a 
howl  an*  rolls  over ;  then  he  sets  up  gnawin'  an'  lickin'  his 
off  hind  laig  in  frantic  alternations.  That  hunt  is  done 
for  him.  We  leaves  him  doctorin'  himse'f  an'  picks  him 
up  two  hours  later  on  our  triumphant  return. 

"  'As  I  states,  we  harries  that  foogitive  panther  for 

1 06 


ALFRED    HENRY    LEWIS 

eighteen  miles  an'  in  our  hot  ardor  founders  two  hosses. 
Fatigue  an'  weariness  begins  to  overpower  us;  also  our 
prey  weakens  along  with  the  rest.  In  the  half  glimpses 
we  now  an'  ag'in  gets  of  him  it's  plain  that  both  pace  an' 
distance  is  tellin'  fast.  Still,  he  presses  on ;  an'  as  thar's 
no  spur  like  fear,  that  panther  holds  his  distance. 

"  'But  the  end  comes.  We've  done  run  him  into  a 
rough,  wild  stretch  of  country  where  settlements  is  few 
an'  cabins  roode.  Of  a  sudden,  the  panther  emerges  onto 
the  road  an'  goes  rackin'  along  the  trail.  We  pushes  our 
spent  steeds  to  the  utmost. 

"  'Thar's  a  log  house  ahead ;  out  in  the  stump-filled  lot 
in  front  is  a  frowsy  woman  an'  five  small  children.  The 
panther  leaps  the  rickety  worm-fence  an'  heads  straight 
as  a  bullet  for  the  cl'arin !  Horrors !  the  sight  freezes  our 
marrows !  Mad  an'  savage,  he's  doo  to  bite  a  hunk  outen 
that  devoted  household !  Mutooally  callin'  to  each  other, 
we  goads  our  horses  to  the  utmost.  We  gain  on  the 
panther !  He  may  wound  but  he  won't  have  time  to  slay 
that  fam'ly. 

"  'Gents,  it's  a  soopreme  moment !  The  panther  makes 
for  the  female  squatter  an'  her  litter,  we  pantin'  an'  press- 
in'  clost  behind.  The  panther  is  among  'em;  the  woman 
an'  the  children  seems  transfixed  by  the  awful  spectacle 
an'  stands  rooted  with  open  eyes  an'  mouths.  Our  emo- 
tions shore  beggars  deescriptions. 

"  'Now  ensooes  a  scene  to  smite  the  hardiest  of  us  with 
dismay.  No  sooner  does  the  panther  find  himse'f  in  the 
midst  of  that  he'pless  bevy  of  little  ones,  than  he  stops, 
turns  round  abrupt,  an'  sets  down  on  his  tail;  an'  then 
upliftin'  his  muzzle  he  busts  into  shrieks  an'  yells  an' 
howls  an'  cries,  a  complete  case  of  dog  hysterics !  That's 
what  he  is,  a  great  yeller  dog ;  his  reason  is  now  a  wrack 
because  we  harasses  him  the  eighteen  miles. 

107 


COLONEL    STERETTS    PANTHER    HUNT 

"  'Thar's  a  ugly  outcast  of  a  squatter,  mattock  in  hand, 
comes  tumblin'  down  the  hillside  from  some'ers  out  back 
of  the  shanty  where  he's  been  grubbin'  : 

"  '  "What  be  you-all  eediots  chasm'  my  dog  for  ?"  de- 
mands this  onkempt  party.  Then  he  menaces  us  with  the 
implement. 

"  'We  makes  no  retort  but  stands  passive.  The  great 
orange  brute  whose  nerves  has  been  torn  to  rags  creeps 
to  the  squatter  an'  with  mournful  howls  explains  what 
we've  made  him  suffer. 

"  'No,  thar's  nothin'  further  to  do  an'  less  to  be  said. 
That  cavalcade,  erstwhile  so  gala  an'  buoyant,  drags  it- 
self wearily  homeward,  the  exhausted  dogs  in  the  r'ar 
walkin'  stiff  an'  sore  like  their  laigs  is  wood.  For  more'n 
a  mile  the  complainin'  howls  of  the  hysterical  yeller  dog 
is  wafted  to  our  years.  Then  they  ceases ;  an'  we  figgers 
his  sympathizin'  master  has  done  took  him  into  the  shanty 
an'  shet  the  door. 

"  'No  one  comments  on  this  adventure,  not  a  word  is 
heard.  Each  is  silent  ontil  we  mounts  the  Big  Murray 
hill.  As  we  collects  ourse'fs  on  this  eminence  one  of  the 
Brackenridge  boys  holds  up  his  hand  for  a  halt.  "Gents," 
he  says,  as — hosses,  hunters  an'  dogs — we-all  gathers 
'round,  "gents,  I  moves  you  the  Chevy  Chase  Huntin' 
Club  yereby  stands  adjourned  sine  die."  Thar's  a  mo- 
ment's pause,  an'  then  as  by  one  impulse  every  gent,  hoss 
an'  dog,  says  "Ay !"  It's  yoonanimous,  an'  from  that  hour 
till  now  the  Chevy  Chase  Huntin'  Club  ain't  been  nothin' 
save  tradition.  But  that  panther  shore  disappears;  it's 
the  end  of  his  vandalage ;  an'  ag'in  does  quadrilles,  pra'rs, 
an  poker  resoom  their  wonted  sway.  That's  the  end ;  an' 
now,  gents,  if  Black  Jack  will  caper  to  his  dooties  we'll 
uplift  pur  drooped  energies  with  the  usual  forty  drops.'  " 

1 08 


WOUTER  VAN  TWILLER 

BY    WASHINGTON   IRVING 

It  was  in  the  year  of  our  Lord  1629  that  Mynheer 
Wouter  Van  Twiller  was  appointed  governor  of  the  prov- 
ince of  Nieuw  Nederlandts,  under  the  commission  and 
control  of  their  High  Mightinesses  the  Lords  States  Gen- 
eral of  the  United  Netherlands,  and  the  privileged  West 
India  Company. 

This  renowned  old  gentleman  arrived  at  New  Amster- 
dam in  the  merry  month  of  June,  the  sweetest  month  in 
all  the  year;  when  dan  Apollo  seems  to  dance  up  the 
transparent  firmament, — when  the  robin,  the  thrush,  and 
a  thousand  other  wanton  songsters  make  the  woods  to  re- 
sound with  amorous  ditties,  and  the  luxurious  little  bob- 
lincoln  revels  among  the  clover-blossoms  of  the  meadows, 
— all  which  happy  coincidence  persuaded  the  old  dames  of 
New  Amsterdam,  who  were  skilled  in  the  art  of  foretell- 
ing events,  that  this  was  to  be  a  happy  and  prosperous 
administration. 

The  renowned  Wouter  (or  Walter)  Van  Twiller  was 
descended  from  a  long  line  of  Dutch  burgomasters,  who- 
had  successively  dozed  away  their  lives  and  grown  fat 
upon  the  bench  of  magistracy  in  Rotterdam ;  and  who  had 
comported  themselves  with  such  singular  wisdom  and 
propriety,  that  they  were  never  either  heard  or  talked  of 
— which,  next  to  being  universally  applauded,  should  be 
the  object  of  ambition  of  all  magistrates  and  rulers. 

109 


WOUTER    VAN    TWILLER 

There  are  two  opposite  ways  by  which  some  men  make  a 
figure  in  the  world ;  one,  by  talking  faster  than  they  think, 
and  the  other,  by  holding  their  tongues  and  not  thinking 
at  all.  By  the  first,  many  a  smatterer  acquires  the  repu- 
tation of  a  man  of  quick  parts;  by  the  other,  many  a 
dunderpate,  like  the  owl,  the  stupidest  of  birds,  comes  to 
be  considered  the  very  type  of  wisdom.  This,  by  the  way, 
is  a  casual  remark,  which  I  would  not,  for  the  universe, 
have  it  thought  I  apply  to  Governor  Van  Twiller.  It  is 
true  he  was  a  man  shut  up  within  himself,  like  an  oyster, 
and  rarely  spoke,  except  in  monosyllables ;  but  then  it  was 
allowed  he  seldom  said  a  foolish  thing.  So  invincible  was 
his  gravity  that  he  was  never  known  to  laugh  or  even  to 
smile  through  the  whole  course  of  a  long  and  prosperous 
life.  Nay,  if  a  joke  were  uttered  in  his  presence,  that  set 
light-minded  hearers  in  a  roar,  it  was  observed  to  throw 
him  into  a  state  of  perplexity.  Sometimes  he  would  deign 
to  inquire  into  the  matter,  and  when,  after  much  explana- 
tion, the  joke  was  made  as  plain  as  a  pike-staff,  he  would 
continue  to  smoke  his  pipe  in  silence,  and  at  length,  knock- 
ing out  the  ashes,  would  exclaim,  "Well,  I  see  nothing  in 
all  that  to  laugh  about." 

With  all  his  reflective  habits,  he  never  made  up  his 
mind  on  a  subject.  His  adherents  accounted  for  this  by 
the  astonishing  magnitude  of  his  ideas.  He  conceived 
every  subject  on  so  grand  a  scale  that  he  had  not  room  in 
his  head  to  turn  it  over  and  examine  both  sides  of  it. 
Certain  it  is,  that  if  any  matter  Were  propounded  to  him 
on  which  ordinary  mortals  would  rashly  determine  at  first 
glance,  he  would  put  on  a  vague,  mysterious  look,  shake 
his  capacious  head,  smoke  some  time  in  profound  silence, 
and  at  length  observe,  that  "he  had  his  doubts  about  the 
matter" ;  which  gained  him  the  reputation  of  a  man  slow 
of  belief  and  not  easily  imposed  upon.    What  is  more,  it 

no 


WASHINGTON    IRVING 

gained  him  a  lasting  name ;  for  to  this  habit  of  the  mind 
has  been  attributed  his  surname  of  Twiller ;  which  is  said 
to  be  a  corruption  of  the  original  Twijfler,  or,  in  plain 
English,  Doubter. 

The  person  of  this  illustrious  old  gentleman  was 
formed  and  proportioned  as  though  it  had  been  moulded 
by  the  hands  of  some  cunning  Dutch  statuary,  as  a  model 
of  majesty  and  lordly  grandeur.  He  was  exactly  five 
feet  six  inches  in  height,  and  six  feet  five  inches  in  cir- 
cumference. His  head  was  a  perfect  sphere,  and  of  such 
stupendous  dimensions,  that  Dame  Nature,  with  all  her 
sex's  ingenuity,  would  have  been  puzzled  to  construct  a 
neck  capable  of  supporting  it;  wherefore  she  wisely  de- 
clined the  attempt,  and  settled  it  firmly  on  the  top  of  his 
backbone,  just  between  the  shoulders.  His  body  was  ob- 
long, and  particularly  capacious  at  bottom ;  which  was 
wisely  ordered  by  Providence,  seeing  that  he  was  a  man 
of  sedentary  habits,  and  very  averse  to  the  idle  labor  of 
walking.  His  legs  were  short,  but  sturdy  in  proportion 
to  the  weight  they  had  to  sustain;  so  that  when  erect  he 
had  not  a  little  the  appearance  of  a  beer  barrel  on  skids. 
His  face,  that  infallible  index  of  the  mind,  presented  a 
vast  expanse,  unfurrowed  by  those  lines  and  angles  which 
disfigure  the  human  countenance  with  what  is  termed  ex- 
pression. Two  small  gray  eyes  twinkled  feebly  in  the 
midst,  like  two  stars  of  lesser  magnitude  in  a  hazy  firma- 
ment, and  his  full-fed  cheeks,  which  seemed  to  have  taken 
toll  of  everything  that  went  into  his  mouth,  were  curiously 
mottled  and  streaked  with  dusty  red,  like  a  spitzenberg 
apple. 

His  habits  were  as  regular  as  his  person.  He  daily 
took  his  four  stated  meals,  appropriating  exactly  an  hour 
to  each ;  he  smoked  and  doubted  eight  hours,  and  he  slept 
the  remaining  twelve  of  the  four-and-twenty.    Such  was 

in 


WOUTER    VAN    TWILLER 

the  renowned  Wouter  Van  Twiller, — a  true  philosopher, 
for  his  mind  was  either  elevated  above,  or  tranquilly  set- 
tled below,  the  cares  and  perplexities  of  this  world.  He 
had  lived  in  it  for  years,  without  feeling  the  least  curios- 
ity to  know  whether  the  sun  revolved  round  it,  or  it  round 
the  sun ;  and  he  had  watched,  for  at  least  half  a  century, 
the  smoke  curling  from  his  pipe  to  the  ceiling,  without 
once  troubling  his  head  with  any  of  those  numerous 
theories  by  which  a  philosopher  would  have  perplexed  his 
brain,  in  accounting  for  its  rising  above  the  surrounding 
atmosphere. 

In  his  council  he  presided  with  great  state  and  solem- 
nity. He  sat  in  a  huge  chair  of  solid  oak,  hewn  in  the 
celebrated  forest  of  the  Hague,  fabricated  by  an  experi- 
enced timmerman  of  Amsterdam,  and  curiously  carved 
about  the  arms  and  feet  into  exact  imitations  of  gigantic 
eagle's  claws.  Instead  of  a  scepter,  he  swayed  a  long 
Turkish  pipe,  wrought  with  jasmin  and  amber,  which 
had  been  presented  to  a  stadtholder  of  Holland  at  the 
conclusion  of  a  treaty  with  one  of  the  petty  Barbary  pow- 
ers. In  this  stately  chair  would  he  sit,  and  this  magnifi- 
cent pipe  would  he  smoke,  shaking  his  right  knee  with  a 
constant  motion,  and  fixing  his  eye  for  hours  together 
upon  a  little  print  of  Amsterdam,  which  hung  in  a  black 
frame  against  the  opposite  wall  of  the  council-chamber. 
Nay,  it  has  even  been  said,  that  when  any  deliberation  of 
extraordinary  length  and  intricacy  was  on  the  carpet,  the 
renowned  Wouter  would  shut  his  eyes  for  full  two  hours 
at  a  time,  that  he  might  not  be  disturbed  by  external  ob- 
jects; and  at  such  times  the  internal  commotion  of  his 
mind  was  evinced  by  certain  regular  guttural  sounds, 
which  his  admirers  declared  were  merely  the  noise  of  con- 
flict, made  by  his  contending  doubts  and  opinions. 

It  is  with  infinite  difficulty  I  have  been  enabled  to  col- 

112 


WASHINGTON    IRVING 

lect  these  biographical  anecdotes  of  the  great  man  under 
consideration.  The  facts  respecting  him  were  so  scat- 
tered and  vague,  and  divers  of  them  so  questionable  in 
point  of  authenticity,  that  I  have  had  to  give  up  the  search 
after  many,  and  decline  the  admission  of  still  more,  which 
would  have  tended  to  heighten  the  coloring  of  his  por- 
trait. 

I  have  been  the  more  anxious  to  delineate  fully  the  per- 
son and  habits  of  Wouter  Van  Twiller,  from  the  consider- 
ation that  he  was  not  only  the  first,  but  also  the  best  gov- 
ernor that  ever  presided  over  this  ancient  and  respectable 
province;  and  so  tranquil  and  benevolent  was  his  reign, 
that  I  do  not  find  throughout  the  whole  of  it  a  single  in- 
stance of  any  offender  being  brought  to  punishment, — a 
most  indubitable  sign  of  a  merciful  governor,  and  a  case 
unparalleled,  excepting  in  the  reign  of  the  illustrious 
King  Log,  from  whom,  it  is  hinted,  the  renowned  Van 
Twiller  was  a  lineal  descendant. 

The  very  outset  of  the  career  of  this  excellent  magis- 
trate was  distinguished  by  an  example  of  legal  acumen, 
that  gave  flattering  presage  of  a  wise  and  equitable  ad- 
ministration. The  morning  after  he  had  been  installed  in 
office,  and  at  the  moment  that  he  was  making  his  break- 
fast from  a  prodigious  earthen  dish,  filled  with  milk  and 
Indian  pudding,  he  was  interrupted  by  the  appearance  of 
Wandle  Schoonhoven,  a  very  important  old  burgher  of 
New  Amsterdam,  who  complained  bitterly  of  one  Barent 
Bleecker,  inasmuch  as  he  refused  to  come  to  a  settlement 
of  accounts,  seeing  that  there  was  a  heavy  balance  in  favor 
of  the  said  Wandle.  Governor  Van  Twiller,  as  I  have  al- 
ready observed,  was  a  man  of  few  words;  he  was  like- 
wise a  mortal  enemy  to  multiplying  writings — or  being 
disturbed  at  his  breakfast.  Having  listened  attentively  to 
the  statement  of  Wandle  Schoonhoven,  giving  an  occa- 

ii3 


WOUTER    VAN    TWILLER 

sional  grunt,  as  he  shoveled  a  spoonful  of  Indian  pudding 
into  his  mouth, — either  as  a  sign  that  he  relished  the  dish, 
or  comprehended  the  story, — he  called  unto  him  his  con- 
stable, and  pulling  out  of  his  breeches-pocket  a  huge  jack- 
knife,  dispatched  it  after  the  defendant  as  a  summons, 
accompanied  by  his  tobacco-box  as  a  warrant. 

This  summary  process  was  as  effectual  in  those  simple 
days  as  was  the  seal-ring  of  the  great  Haroun  Alraschid 
among  the  true  believers.  The  two  parties  being  con- 
fronted before  him,  each  produced  a  book  of  accounts, 
written  in  a  language  and  character  that  would  have  puz- 
zled any  but  a  High-Dutch  commentator,  or  a  learned  de- 
cipherer of  Egyptian  obelisks.  The  sage  Wouter  took 
them  one  after  the  other,  and  having  poised  them  in  his 
hands,  and  attentively  counted  over  the  number  of  leaves, 
fell  straightway  into  a  very  great  doubt,  and  smoked  for 
half  an  hour  without  saying  a  word ;  at  length,  laying  his 
finger  beside  his  nose,  and  shutting  his  eyes  for  a  moment, 
with  the  air  of  a  man  who  has  just  caught  a  subtle  idea 
by  the  tail,  he  slowly  took  his  pipe  from  his  mouth,  puffed 
forth  a  column  of  tobacco-smoke,  and  with  marvelous 
gravity  and  solemnity  pronounced,  that,  having  carefully 
counted  over  the  leaves  and  weighed  the  books,  it  was 
found,  that  one  was  just  as  thick  and  as  heavy  as  the 
other :  therefore,  it  was  the  final  opinion  of  the  court  that 
the  accounts  were  equally  balanced:  therefore,  Wandle 
should  give  Barent  a  receipt,  and  Barent  should  give 
Wandle  a  receipt,  and  the  constable  should  pay  the  costs. 

This  decision,  being  straightway  made  known,  diffused 
general  joy  throughout  New  Amsterdam,  for  the  people 
immediately  perceived  that  they  had  a  very  wise  and 
equitable  magistrate  to  rule  over  them.  But  its  happiest 
effect  was,  that  not  another  lawsuit  took  place  throughout 
the  whole  of  his  administration ;  and  the  office  of  constable 

114 


WASHINGTON    IRVING 

fell  into  such  decay,  that  there  was  not  one  of  those  losel 
scouts  known  in  the  province  for  many  years.  I  am  the 
more  particular  in  dwelling  on  this  transaction,  not  only 
because  I  deem  it  one  of  the  most  sage  and  righteous 
judgments  on  record,  and  well  worthy  the  attention  of 
modern  magistrates,  but  because  it  was  a  miraculous  event 
in  the  history  of  the  renowned  Wouter — being  the  only 
time  he  was  ever  known  to  come  to  a  decision  in  the  whole 
course  of  his  life. 


«S 


THE  EXPERIENCES  OF  THE  A.  C 

BY  BAYARD  TAYLOR 

"Bridgeport!  Change  cars  for  the  Naugatuck  Rail- 
road !"  shouted  the  conductor  of  the  New  York  and  Bos- 
ton Express  Train,  on  the  evening  of  May  27,  1858.  .  .  . 
Mr.  Johnson,  carpet-bag  in  hand,  jumped  upon  the  plat- 
form, entered  the  office,  purchased  a  ticket  for  Water- 
bury,  and  was  soon  whirling  in  the  Naugatuck  train 
towards  his  destination. 

On  reaching  Waterbury,  in  the  soft  spring  twilight, 
Mr.  Johnson  walked  up  and  down  in  front  of  the  station, 
curiously  scanning  the  faces  of  the  assembled  crowd. 
Presently  he  noticed  a  gentleman  who  was  performing 
the  same  operation  upon  the  faces  of  the  alighting  pas- 
sengers. Throwing  himself  directly  in  the  way  of  the 
latter,  the  two  exchanged  a  steady  gaze. 

"Is  your  name  Billings?"  "Is  your  name  Johnson?" 
were  simultaneous  questions,  followed  by  the  simultane- 
ous exclamations, — "Ned !"   "Enos !" 

Then  there  was  a  crushing  grasp  of  hands,  repeated 
after  a  pause,  in  testimony  of  ancient  friendship,  and 
Mr.  Billings,  returning  to  practical  life,  asked : 

"Is  that  all  your  baggage?  Come,  I  have  a  buggy 
here :  Eunice  has  heard  the  whistle,  and  she  '11  be  impa- 
tient to  welcome  you." 

The  impatience  of  Eunice  (Mrs.  Billings,  of  course) 
was  not  of  long  duration;  for  in  five  minutes  thereafter 
she  stood  at  the  door  of  her  husband's  chocolate-colored 
villa,  receiving  his  friend.    .    .    . 

116 


BAYARD    TAYLOR 

J.  Edward  Johnson  was  a  tall,  thin  gentleman  of  forty- 
five.  ...  A  year  before,  some  letters,  signed  "Foster, 
Kirkup  &  Co.,  per  Enos  Billings/'  had  accidently  re- 
vealed to  him  the  whereabouts  of  the  old  friend  of  his 
youth,  with  whom  we  now  find  him  domiciled.    .    .    . 

"Enos,"  said  he,  as  he  stretched  out  his  hand  for  the 
third  cup  of  tea  (which  he  had  taken  only  for  the  pur- 
pose of  prolonging  the  pleasant  table-chat),  "I  wonder 
which  of  us  is  most  changed." 

"You,  of  course,"  said  Mr.  Billings,  "with  your  brown 
face  and  big  moustache.  Your  own  brother  would  n't 
have  known  you,  if  he  had  seen  you  last,  as  I  did,  with 
smooth  cheeks  and  hair  of  unmerciful  length.  Why,  not 
even  your  voice  is  the  same!" 

"That  is  easily  accounted  for,"  replied  Mr.  Johnson. 
"But  in  your  case,  Enos,  I  am  puzzled  to  find  where  the 
difference  lies.  Your  features  seem  to  be  but  little 
changed,  now  that  I  can  examine  them  at  leisure;  yet  it 
is  not  the  same  face.  But  really,  I  never  looked  at  you 
for  so  long  a  time,  in  those  days.  I  beg  pardon;  you 
used  to  be  so — so  remarkably  shy." 

Mr.  Billings  blushed  slightly,  and  seemed  at  a  loss 
what  to  answer.  His  wife,  however,  burst  into  a  merry 
laugh,  exclaiming: 

"Oh,  that  was  before  the  days  of  the  A.  C. !" 

He,  catching  the  infection,  laughed  also ;  in  fact,  Mr. 
Johnson  laughed,  but  without  knowing  why. 

"The  'A.  CM"  said  Mr.  Billings.  "Bless  me,  Eunice! 
how  long  it  is  since  we  have  talked  of  that  summer!  I 
had  almost  forgotten  that  there  ever  was  an  A.  C.  .  .  . 
Well,  the  A.  C.  culminated  in  '45.  You  remember  some- 
thing of  the  society  of  Norridgeport,  the  last  winter  you 
were  there?  Abel  Mallory,  for  instance?" 

"Let  me  think  a  moment,"  said  Mr.  Johnson,  reflec- 

117 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF    THE    A.    C. 

tively.  "Really,  it  seems  like  looking  back  a  hundred 
years.  Mallory, — was  n't  that  the  sentimental  young 
man,  with  wispy  hair,  a  tallowy  skin,  and  big,  sweaty 
hands,  who  used  to  be  spouting  Carlyle  on  the  'reading 
evenings'  at  Shelldrake's?  Yes,  to  be  sure;  and  there 
was  Hollins,  with  his  clerical  face  and  infidel  talk, — - 
and  Pauline  Ringtop,  who  used  to  say,  'The  Beautiful  is 
the  Good.'  I  can  still  hear  her  shrill  voice  singing,  'Would 
that  /  were  beautiful,  would  that  /  were  fair !'  " 

There  was  a  hearty  chorus  of  laughter  at  poor  Miss 
Ringtop's  expense.  It  harmed  no  one,  however;  for  the 
tar-weed  was  already  becoming  thick  over  her  Californian 
grave. 

"Oh,  I  see,"  said  Mr.  Billings,  "you  still  remember 
the  absurdities  of  those  days.  In  fact,  I  think  you  par- 
tially saw  through  them  then.  But  I  was  younger,  and 
far  from  being  so  clear-headed,  and  I  looked  upon  those 
evenings  at  Shelldrake's  as  being  equal,  at  least,  to  the 
symposia  of  Plato.  Something  in  Mallory  always  re- 
pelled me.  I  detested  the  sight  of  his  thick  nose,  with  the 
flaring  nostrils,  and  his  coarse,  half-formed  lips,  of  the 
bluish  color  of  raw  corned-beef.  But  I  looked  upon  these 
feelings  as  unreasonable  prejudices,  and  strove  to  con- 
quer them,  seeing  the  admiration  which  he  received  from 
others.  He  was  an  oracle  on  the  subject  of  'Nature/ 
Having  eaten  nothing  for  two  years,  except  Graham 
bread,  vegetables  without  salt,  and  fruits,  fresh  or  dried, 
he  considered  himself  to  have  attained  an  antediluvian 
purity  of  health, — or  that  he  would  attain  it,  so  soon  as 
two  pimples  on  his  left  temple  should  have  healed.  These 
pimples  he  looked  upon  as  the  last  feeble  stand  made  by 
the  pernicious  juices  left  from  the  meat  he  had  formerly 
eaten  and  the  coffee  he  had  drunk.  His  theory  was,  that 
through  a  body  so  purged  and  purified  none  but  true  and 

118 


BAYARD   TAYLOR 

natural  impulses  could  find  access  to  the  soul.  Such,  in- 
deed, was  the  theory  we  all  held.     .     .     . 

"Shelldrake  was  a  man  of  more  pretense  than  real  culti- 
vation, as  I  afterwards  discovered.  He  was  in  good  cir- 
cumstances, and  always  glad  to  receive  us  at  his  house, 
as  this  made  him  virtually  the  chief  of  our  tribe,  and  the 
outlay  for  refreshments  involved  only  the  apples  from 
his  own  orchard,  and  water  from  his  well.    .    .    . 

"Well,  't  was  in  the  early  part  of  '45, — I  think  in 
April, — when  we  were  all  gathered  together,  discussing, 
as  usual,  the  possibility  of  leading  a  life  in  accordance 
with  Nature.  Abel  Mallory  was  there,  and  Hollins,  and 
Miss  Ringtop,  and  Faith  Levis,  with  her  knitting, — and 
also  Eunice  Hazleton,  a  lady  whom  you  have  never  seen, 
but  you  may  take  my  wife  as  her  representative.    .    .    . 

"I  wish  I  could  recollect  some  of  the  speeches  made  on 
that  occasion.  Abel  had  but  one  pimple  on  his  temple 
(there  was  a  purple  spot  where  the  other  had  been),  and 
was  estimating  that  in  two  or  three  months  more  he 
would  be  a  true,  unspoiled  man.  His  complexion,  never- 
theless, was  more  clammy  and  whey-like  than  ever. 

"  'Yes/  said  he,  'I  also  am  an  Arcadian !  This  false 
dual  existence  which  I  have  been  leading  will  soon  be 
merged  in  the  unity  of  Nature.  Our  lives  must  conform 
to  her  sacred  law.  Why  can't  we  strip  off  these  hollow 
Shams'  (he  made  great  use  of  that  word),  'and  be  our 
true  selves,  pure,  perfect,  and  divine  ?'    .    .    . 

"Shelldrake,  however,  turning  to  his  wife,  said, — 

"  'Elviry,  how  many  up-stairs  rooms  is  there  in  that 
house  down  on  the  Sound  ?' 

"  Tour, — besides  three  small  ones  under  the  roof. 
Why,  what  made  you  think  of  that,  Jesse?'  said  she. 

"  'I've  got  an  idea,  while  Abel's  been  talking/  he  an- 
swered.   'We  've  taken  a  house  for  the  summer,  down 

vol.  1-10  IX9 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF    THE   A.    C. 

the  other  side  of  Bridgeport,  right  on  the  water,  where 
there  's  good  fishing  and  a  fine  view  of  the  Sound.  Now, 
there  's  room  enough  for  all  of  us, — at  least,  all  that 
can  make  it  suit  to  go.  Abel,  you  and  Enos,  and  Pauline 
and  Eunice  might  fix  matters  so  that  we  could  all  take 
the  place  in  partnership,  and  pass  the  summer  together, 
living  a  true  and  beautiful  life  in  the  bosom  of  Nature. 
There  we  shall  be  perfectly  free  and  untrammelled  by 
the  chains  which  still  hang  around  us  in  Norridgeport. 
You  know  how  often  we  have  wanted  to  be  set  on  some 
island  in  the  Pacific  Ocean,  where  we  could  build  up  a  true 
society,  right  from  the  start.  Now,  here  's  a  chance  to 
try  the  experiment  for  a  few  months,  anyhow/ 

"Eunice  clapped  her  hands  (yes,  you  did!)  and  cried 
out, — 

"  'Splendid !  Arcadian !  I'll  give  up  my  school  for  the 
summer.'    .    .    . 

"Abel  Mallory,  pf  course,  did  not  need  to  have  the 
proposal  repeated.  He  was  ready  for  anything  which 
promised  indolence  and  the  indulgence  of  his  sentimental 
tastes.  I  will  do  the  fellow  the  justice  to  say  that  he  was 
not  a  hypocrite.  He  firmly  believed  both  in  himself  and 
his  ideas, — especially  the  former.  He  pushed  both  hands 
through  the  long  wisps  of  his  drab-colored  hair,  and 
threw  his  head  back  until  his  wide  nostrils  resembled  a 
double  door  to  his  brain. 

"  'O  Nature !'  he  said,  'you  have  found  your  lost  chil- 
dren! We  shall  obey  your  neglected  laws!  we  shall 
hearken  to  your  divine  whispers !  we  shall  bring  you  back 
from  your  ignominious  exile,  and  place  you  on  your  an- 
cestral throne  P    .    .    . 

"The  company  was  finally  arranged  to  consist  of  the 
Shelldrakes,  Hollins,  Mallory,  Eunice,  Miss  Ringtop,  and 
myself.    We  did  not  give  much  thought,  either  to  the 

120 


BAYARD  TAYLOR 


\ 


preparations  in  advance,  or  to  pur  mode  of  life  when  set- 
tled there.  We  were  to  live  near  to  Nature :  that  was  the 
main  thing". 

"  'What  shall  we  call  the  place  ?'  asked  Eunice. 

"  'Arcadia !'  said  Abel  Mallory,  rolling  up  his  large 
green  eyes. 

"  'Then,'  said  Hollins,  'let  us  constitute  ourselves  the 
Arcadian  Club!'" 

— "Aha!"  interrupted  Mr.  Johnson,  "I  see!  The 
A.  C. !" 

"Yes,  you  see  the  A.  C.  now,  but  to  understand  it  fully 
you  should  have  had  a  share  in  those  Arcadian  expe- 
riences. ...  It  was  a  lovely  afternoon  in  June  when 
we  first  approached  Arcadia.  .  .  .  Perkins  Brown, 
Shelldrake's  boy-of -all- work,  awaited  us  at  the  door. 
He  had  been  sent  on  two  or  three  days  in  advance,  to  take 
charge  of  the  house,  and  seemed  to  have  had  enough  of 
hermit-life,  for  he  hailed  us  with  a  wild  whoop,  throwing 
his  straw  hat  half-way  up  one  of  the  poplars.  Perkins 
was  a  boy  of  fifteen,  the  child  of  poor  parents,  who  were 
satisfied  to  get  him  off  their  hands,  regardless  as  to  what 
humanitarian  theories  might  be  tested  upon  him.  As  the 
Arcadian  Club  recognized  no  such  thing  as  caste,  he  was 
always  admitted  to  our  meetings,  and  understood  just 
enough  of  our  conversation  to  excite  a  silly  ambition  in 
his  slow  mind.    .    .    . 

"Our  board,  that  evening,  was  really  tempting.  The 
absence  of  meat  was  compensated  to  us  by  the  crisp  and 
racy  onions,  and  I  craved  only  a  little  salt,  which  had  been 
interdicted,  as  a  most  pernicious  substance.  I  sat  at  one 
corner  of  the  table,  beside  Perkins  Brown,  who  took  an 
opportunity,  while  the  others  were  engaged  in  conversa- 
tion, to  jog  my  elbow  gently.  As  I  turned  towards  him, 
he  said  nothing,  but  dropped  his  eyes  significantly.   The 

121 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF    THE    A.    C. 

little  rascal  had  the  lid  of  a  blacking-box,  filled  with  salt, 
upon  his  knee,  and  was  privately  seasoning  his  onions 
and  radishes.  I  blushed  at  the  thought  of  my  hypocrisy, 
but  the  onions  were  so  much  better  that  I  could  n't  help 
dipping  into  the  lid  with  him. 

"  'Oh/  said  Eunice,  'we  must  send  for  some  oil  and 
vinegar !  This  lettuce  is  very  nice/ 

"  'Oil  and  vinegar  ?'  exclaimed  Abel. 

"  'Why,  yes/  said  she,  innocently :  'they  are  both  vege- 
table substances.' 

"Abel  at  first  looked  rather  foolish,  but  quickly  re- 
covering himself,  said, — 

"  'All  vegetable  substances  are  not  proper  for  food : 
you  would  not  taste  the  poison-oak,  or  sit  under  the  upas- 
tree  of  Java/ 

"  'Well,  Abel,'  Eunice  rejoined,  'how  are  we  to  distin- 
guish what  is  best  for  us?  How  are  we  to  know  what 
vegetables  to  choose,  or  what  animal  and  mineral  sub- 
stances to  avoid  ?' 

"  'I  will  tell  you,'  he  answered,  with  a  lofty  air.  'See 
here !'  pointing  to  his  temple,  where  the  second  pimple — 
either  from  the  change  of  air,  or  because,  in  the  excite- 
ment of  the  last  few  days,  he  had  forgotten  it — was  actu- 
ally healed.  'My  blood  is  at  last  pure.  The  struggle  be- 
tween the  natural  and  the  unnatural  is  over,  and  I  am 
beyond  the  depraved  influences  of  my  former  taste.  My 
instincts  are  now,  therefore,  entirely  pure  also.  What  is 
good  for  man  to  eat,  that  I  shall  have  a  natural  desire  to 
eat :  what  is  bad  will  be  naturally  repelled.  How  does  the 
cow  distinguish  between  the  wholesome  and  the  poison- 
ous herbs  of  the  meadow?  And  is  man  less  than  a  cow, 
that  he  can  not  cultivate  his  instincts  to  an  equal  point  ? 
Let  me  walk  through  the  woods  and  I  can  tell  you  every 
berry  and  root  which  God  designed  for  food,  though  I 

122 


BAYARD    TAYLOR 

know  not  its  name,  and  have  never  seen  it  before.  I  shall 
make  use  of  my  time,  during  our  sojourn  here,  to  test,  by 
my  purified  instinct,  every  substance,  animal,  mineral,  and 
vegetable,  upon  which  the  human  race  subsists,  and  to 
create  a  catalogue  of  the  True  Food  of  Man !'    .    .    . 

"Our  lazy  life  during  the  hot  weather  had  become  a 
little  monotonous.  The  Arcadian  plan  had  worked  tolera- 
bly well,  on  the  whole,  for  there  was  very  little  for  any 
one  to  do, — Mrs.  Shelldrake  and  Perkins  Brown  except- 
ed. Our  conversation,  however,  lacked  spirit  and  variety. 
We  were,  perhaps  unconsciously,  a  little  tired  of  hearing 
and  assenting  to  the  same  sentiments.  But,  one  evening, 
about  this  time,  Hollins  struck  upon  a  variation,  the  con- 
sequences of  which  he  little  foresaw.  We  had  been  read- 
ing one  of  Bulwer's  works  (the  weather  was  too  hot  for 
Psychology),  and  came  upon  this  paragraph,  or  some- 
thing like  it : 

"  'Ah,  Behind  the  Veil !  We  see  the  summer  smile  of 
the  Earth, — enamelled  meadow  and  limpid  stream, — but 
what  hides  she  in  her  sunless  heart  ?  Caverns  of  serpents, 
or  grottoes  of  priceless  gems  ?  Youth,  whose  soul  sits  on 
thy  countenance,  thyself  wearing  no  mask,  strive  not  to 
lift  the  masks  of  others!  Be  content  with  what  thou 
seest;  and  wait  until  Time  and  Experience  shall  teach 
thee  to  find  jealousy  behind  the  sweet  smile,  and  hatred 
under  the  honeyed  word !' 

"This  seemed  to  us  a  dark  and  bitter  reflection;  but 
one  or  another  of  us  recalled  some  illustration  of  human 
hypocrisy,  and  the  evidences,  by  the  simple  fact  of  repe- 
tition, gradually  led  to  a  division  of  opinion, — Hollins, 
Shelldrake,  and  Miss  Ringtop  on  the  dark  side,  and  the 
rest  of  us  on  the  bright.  The  last,  however,  contented 
herself  with  quoting  from  her  favorite  poet  Gamaliel  J. 
Gawthrop : 

123 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF   THE    A.    C 

"  'I  look  beyond  thy  brow's  concealment ! 
I  see  thy  spirit's  dark  revealment! 
Thy  inner  self  betrayed  I  see : 
Thy  coward,  craven,  shivering  Me/ 

"  'We  think  we  know  one  another/  exclaimed  Hollins ; 
'but  do  we?  We  see  the  faults  of  others,  their  weak- 
nesses, their  disagreeable  qualities,  and  we  keep  silent. 
How  much  we  should  gain,  were  candor  as  universal  as 
concealment !  Then  each  one,  seeing  himself  as  others  see 
him,  would  truly  know  himself.  How  much  misunder- 
standing might  be  avoided,  how  much  hidden  shame  be 
removed,  hopeless  because  unspoken  love  made  glad, 
honest  admiration  cheer  its  object,  uttered  sympathy 
mitigate  misfortune, — in  short,  how  much  brighter  and 
happier  the  world  would  become,  if  each  one  expressed, 
everywhere  and  at  all  times,  his  true  and  entire  feeling! 
Why,  even  Evil  would  lose  half  its  power  !' 

"There  seemed  to  be  so  much  practical  wisdom  in  these 
views  that  we  were  all  dazzled  and  half-convinced  at  the 
start.  So,  when  Hollins,  turning  towards  me,  as  he  con- 
tinued, exclaimed, — 'Come,  why  should  not  this  candor 
be  adopted  in  our  Arcadia?  Will  any  one — will  you, 
Enos — commence  at  once  by  telling  me  now — to  my  face 
— my  principal  faults?'  I  answered,  after  a  moment's 
reflection, — 'You  have  a  great  deal  of  intellectual  arro- 
gance, and  you  are,  physically,  very  indolent.' 

"He  did  not  flinch  from  the  self-invited  test,  though  he 
looked  a  little  surprised. 

"  'Well  put,'  said  he,  'though  I  do  not  say  that  you  are 
entirely  correct.   Now,  what  are  my  merits  ?' 

"  'You  are  clear-sighted,'  I  answered,  'an  earnest  seeker 
after  truth,  and  courageous  in  the  avowal  of  your 
thoughts.' 

"This  restored  the  balance,  and  we  soon  began  to  con- 

124 


BAYARD    TAYLOR 

fess  our  own  private  faults  and  weaknesses.  Though  the 
confessions  did  not  go  very  deep, — no  one  betraying  any 
thing  we  did  not  all  know  already, — yet  they  were  suf- 
ficient to  strengthen  Hollins  in  his  new  idea,  and  it  was 
unanimously  resolved  that  Candor  should  thenceforth  be 
the  main  charm  of  our  Arcadian  life.    .    .    . 

"The  next  day,  Abel,  who  had  resumed  his  researches 
after  the  True  Food,  came  home  to  supper  with  a  health- 
ier color  than  I  had  before  seen  on  his  face. 

"  'Do  you  know/  said  he,  looking  shyly  at  Hollins, 
'that  I  begin  to  think  Beer  must  be  a  natural  beverage? 
There  was  an  auction  in  the  village  to-day,  as  I  passed 
through,  and  I  stopped  at  a  cake-stand  to  get  a  glass  of 
water,  as  it  was  very  hot.  There  was  no  water, — only 
beer :  so  I  thought  I  would  try  a  glass,  simply  as  an  ex- 
periment. Really,  the  flavor  was  very  agreeable.  And  it 
occurred  to  me,  on  the  way  home,  that  all  the  elements 
contained  in  beer  are  vegetable.  Besides,  fermentation 
is  a  natural  process.  I  think  the  question  has  never  been 
properly  tested  before/ 

"  'But  the  alcohol !'  exclaimed  Hollins. 

"  T  could  not  distinguish  any,  either  by  taste  or  smell. 
I  know  that  chemical  analysis  is  said  to  show  it ;  but  may 
not  the  alcohol  be  created,  somehow,  during  the  analysis  ?' 

"  'Abel/  said  Hollins,  in  a  fresh  burst  of  candor,  'you 
will  never  be  a  Reformer,  until  you  possess  some  of  the 
commonest  elements  of  knowledge/ 

"The  rest  of  us  were  much  diverted :  it  was  a  pleasant 
relief  to  our  monotonous  amiability. 

"Abel,  however,  had  a  stubborn  streak  in  his  character. 
The  next  day  he  sent  Perkins  Brown  to  Bridgeport  for  a 
dozen  bottles  of  'Beer.'  Perkins,  either  intentionally  or 
by  mistake,  (I  always  suspected  the  former,)  brought 
pint-bottles  of  Scotch  ale,  which  he  placed  in  the  coolest 

125 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF    THE   A.    C. 

part  of  the  cellar.  The  evening  happened  to  be  exceed- 
ingly hot  and  sultry;  and,  as  we  were  all  fanning  our- 
selves and  talking  languidly,  Abel  bethought  him  of  his 
beer.  In  his  thirst,  he  drank  the  contents  of  the  first 
bottle,  almost  at  a  single  draught. 

"  'The  effect  of  beer,'  said  he,  'depends,  I  think,  on  the 
commixture  of  the  nourishing  principle  of  the  grain  with 
the  cooling  properties  of  the  water.  Perhaps,  hereafter, 
a  liquid  food  of  the  same  character  may  be  invented, 
which  shall  save  us  from  mastication  and  all  the  diseases 
of  the  teeth/ 

"Hollins  and  Shelldrake,  at  his  invitation,  divided  a 
bottle  between  them,  and  he  took  a  second.  The  potent 
beverage  was  not  long  in  acting  on  a  brain  so  unaccus- 
tomed to  its  influence.  He  grew  unusually  talkative  and 
sentimental,  in  a  few  minutes. 

"  'Oh,  sing,  somebody !'  he  sighed  in  hoarse  rapture : 
'the  night  was  made  for  Song/ 

"Miss  Ringtop,  nothing  loath,  immediately  com- 
menced, 'When  stars  are  in  the  quiet  skies' ;  but  scarcely 
had  she  finished  the  first  verse  before  Abel  interrupted  her. 

"  'Candor's  the  order  of  the  day,  isn't  it  ?'  he  asked. 

"  'Yes !'   'Yes  P  two  or  three  answered. 

"  'Well,  then,'  said  he,  'candidly,  Pauline,  you've  got 
the  darn'dest  squeaky  voice' — 

"Miss  Ringtop  gave  a  faint  little  scream  of  horror. 

"  'Oh,  never  mind !'  he  continued.  'We  act  according 
to  impulse,  don't  we?  And  I've  the  impulse  to  swear; 
and  it's  right.  Let  Nature  have  her  way.  Listen !  Damn, 
damn,  damn,  damn !  I  never  knew  it  was  so  easy.  Why, 
there's  a  pleasure  in  it !  Try  it,  Pauline !  try  it  on  me !' 

"  'Oh-ooh !'  was  all  Miss  Ringtop  could  utter. 

"  'Abel !  Abel !'  exclaimed  Hollins,  'the  beer  has  got 
into  your  head.' 

126 


BAYARD    TAYLOR 

"'No,  it  isn't  Beer,— it's  Candor!'  said  Abel.  "It's 
your  own  proposal,  Hollins.  Suppose  it's  evil  to  swear: 
isn't  it  better  I  should  express  it,  and  be  done  with  it, 
than  keep  it  bottled  up,  to  ferment  in  my  mind?  Oh, 
you're  a  precious,  consistent  old  humbug,  you  are  F 

"And  therewith  he  jumped  off  the  stoop,  and  went 
dancing  awkwardly  down  toward  the  water,  singing  in  a 
most  unmelodious  voice,  '  'T  is  home  where'er  the  heart 
is.'     .     .     . 

"We  had  an  unusually  silent  breakfast  the  next  morn- 
ing. Abel  scarcely  spoke,  which  the  others  attributed  to 
a  natural  feeling  of  shame,  after  his  display  of  the  previ- 
ous evening.  Hollins  and  Shelldrake  discussed  Temper- 
ance, with  a  special  view  to  his  edification,  and  Miss 
Ringtop  favored  us  with  several  quotations  about  'the 
maddening  bowl,' — but  he  paid  no  attention  to  them.  .  .  . 

"The  forenoon  was  overcast,  with  frequent  showers. 
Each  one  occupied  his  or  her  room  until  dinner-time, 
when  we  met  again  with  something  of  the  old  geniality. 
There  was  an  evident  effort  to  restore  our  former  flow  of 
good  feeling.  Abel's  experience  with  the  beer  was  freely 
discussed.  He  insisted  strongly  that  he  had  not  been 
laboring  under  its  effects,  and  proposed  a  mutual  test. 
He,  Shelldrake,  and  Hollins  were  to  drink  it  in  equal 
measures,  and  compare  observations  as  to  their  physical 
sensations.  The  others  agreed, — quite  willingly,  I 
thought, — but  I  refused.     .     .     . 

"There  was  a  sound  of  loud  voices,  as  we  approached 
the  stoop.  Hollins,  Shelldrake  and  his  wife,  and  Abel 
Mallory  were  sitting  together  near  the  door.  Perkins 
Brown,  as  usual,  was  crouched  on  the  lowest  step,  with 
one  leg  over  the  other,  and  rubbing  the  top  of  his  boot 
with  a  vigor  which  betrayed  to  me  some  secret  mirth. 
He  looked  up  at  me  from  under  his  straw  hat  with  the 

127 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF    THE    A.    C. 

grin  of  a  malicious  Puck,  glanced  toward  the  group,  and 
made  a  curious  gesture  with  his  thumb.  There  were  sev- 
eral empty  pint  bottles  on  the  stoop. 

"  'Now,  are  you  sure  you  can  bear  the  test  ?'  we  heard 
Hollins  ask,  as  we  approached. 

"'Bear  it?  Why,  to  be  sure!'  replied  Shelldrake;  'if 
I  couldn't  bear  it,  or  if  you  couldn't,  your  theory's  done 
for.  Try !  I  can  stand  it  as  long  as  you  can.' 

"  'Well,  then/  said  Hollins,  T  think  you  are  a  very  or- 
dinary man.  I  derive  no  intellectual  benefit  from  my  in- 
tercourse with  you,  but  your  house  is  convenient  to  me. 
I'm  under  no  obligations  for  your  hospitality,  however, 
because  my  company  is  an  advantage  to  you.  Indeed,  if 
I  were  treated  according  to  my  deserts,  you  couldn't  do 
enough  for  me.' 

"Mrs.  Shelldrake  was  up  in  arms. 

"  'Indeed,'  she  exclaimed,  'I  think  you  get  as  good  as 
you  deserve,  and  more,  too.' 

"  'Elvira,'  said  he,  with  a  benevolent  condescension,  T 
have  no  doubt  you  think  so,  for  your  mind  belongs  to  the 
lowest  and  most  material  sphere.  You  have  your  place 
in  Nature,  and  you  fill  it;  but  it  is  not  for  you  to  judge 
of  intelligences  which  move  only  on  the  upper  planes.' 

"  'Hollins,'  said  Shelldrake,  'Elviry's  a  good  wife  and 
a  sensible  woman,  and  I  won't  allow  you  to  turn  up  your 
nose  at  her.' 

"  T  am  not  surprised,'  he  answered,  'that  you  should 
fail  to  stand  the  test.     I  didn't  expect  it.' 

"  'Let  me  try  it  on  you!'  cried  Shelldrake.  'You,  now, 
have  some  intellect, — I  don't  deny  that, — but  not  so  much, 
by  a  long  shot,  as  you  think  you  have.  Besides  that,  you're 
awfully  selfish  in  your  opinions.  You  won't  admit  that 
anybody  can  be  right  who  differs  from  you.  You've 
sponged  on  me  for  a  long  time ;  but  I  suppose  I've  learned 

128 


BAYARD  TAYLOR 

something  from  you,  so  we'll  call  it  even.  I  think,  how- 
ever, that  what  you  call  acting  according  to  impulse  is 
simply  an  excuse  to  cover  your  own  laziness/ 

"  'Gosh !  that's  it !'  interrupted  Perkins,  jumping  up ; 
then,  recollecting  himself,  he  sank  down  on  the  steps 
again,  and  shook  with  a  suppressed  'Ho  I  ho !  ho !' 

"Hollins,  however,  drew  himself  up  with  an  exasper- 
ated air. 

"  'Shelldrake,'  said  he,  'I  pity  you.  I  always  knew  your 
ignorance,  but  I  thought  you  honest  in  your  human  char- 
acter. I  never  suspected  you  of  envy  and  malice.  How- 
ever, the  true  Reformer  must  expect  to  be  misunderstood 
and  misrepresented  by  meaner  minds.  That  love  which 
I  bear  to  all  creatures  teaches  me  to  forgive  you.  With- 
out such  love,  all  plans  of  progress  must  fail.  Is  it  not  so, 
Abel?'" 

"Shelldrake  could  only  ejaculate  the  words,  'Pity!' 
'Forgive!'  in  his  most  contemptuous  tone;  while  Mrs. 
Shelldrake,  rocking  violently  in  her  chair,  gave  utterance 
to  the  peculiar  clucking  cts,  ts,  ts,  ts/  whereby  certain 
women  express  emotions  too  deep  for  words. 

"Abel,  roused  by  Hollins'  question,  answered,  with  a 
sudden  energy : 

"  'Love !  there  is  no  love  in  the  world.  Where  will  you 
find  it?  Tell  me,  and  I'll  go  there.  Love!  I'd  like  to  see 
it !  If  all  human  hearts  were  like  mine,  we  might  have  an 
Arcadia;  but  most  men  have  no  hearts.  The  world  is  a 
miserable,  hollow,  deceitful  shell  of  vanity  and  hypocrisy. 
No :  let  us  give  up.  We  were  born  before  our  time :  this 
age  is  not  worthy  of  us.' 

"Hollins  stared  at  the  speaker  in  utter  amazement. 
Shelldrake  gave  a  long  whistle,  and  finally  gasped  out : 

"'Well,  what  next?' 

"None  of  us  were  prepared  for  such  a  sudden  and  com- 

129 


THE    EXPERIENCES    OF   THE    A.    C. 

plete  wreck  of  our  Arcadian  scheme.  The  foundations 
had  been  sapped  before,  it  is  true;  but  we  had  not  per- 
ceived it;  and  now,  in  two  short  days,  the  whole  edifice 
tumbled  about  our  ears.  Though  it  was  inevitable,  we 
felt  a  shock  of  sorrow,  and  a  silence  fell  upon  us.  Only 
that  scamp  of  a  Perkins  Brown,  chuckling  and  rubbing 
his  boot,  really  rejoiced.  I  could  have  kicked  him. 

"We  all  went  to  bed,  feeling  that  the  charm  of  our  Ar- 
cadian life  was  over.  ...  In  the  first  revulsion  of 
feeling,  I  was  perhaps  unjust  to  my  associates.  I  see  now, 
more  clearly,  the  causes  of  those  vagaries,  which  origi- 
nated in  a  genuine  aspiration,  and  failed  from  an  ignor- 
ance of  the  true  nature  of  Man,  quite  as  much  as  from  the 
egotism  of  the  individuals.  Other  attempts  at  reorganiz- 
ing Society  were  made  about  the  same  time  by  men  of 
culture  and  experience,  but  in  the  A.  C.  we  had  neither. 
Our  leaders  had  caught  a  few  half-truths,  which,  in  their 
minds,  were  speedily  warped  into  errors."     .     .     . 


130 


WHAT  MR.  ROBINSON  THINKS 

BY   JAMES    RUSSELL   LOWELL 

Guvener  B.  is  a  sensible  man ; 

He  stays  to  his  home  an'  looks  arter  his  folks ; 
He  draws  his  furrer  ez  straight  ez  he  can, 
An'  into  nobody's  tater-patch  pokes ; 
But  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  he  wunt  vote  fer  Guvener  B. 

My !  ain't  it  terrible  ?    Wut  shall  we  du  ? 

We  can't  never  choose  him,  o'  course, — thet's  flat ; 
Guess  we  shall  hev  to  come  round  (don't  you?) 
An'  go  in  fer  thunder  an'  guns,  an'  all  that ; 
Fer  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  he  wunt  vote  fer  Guvener  B. 

Gineral  C.  is  a  dreffle  smart  man : 

He's  ben  on  all  sides  thet  give  places  or  pelf; 
But  consistency  still  was  a  part  of  his  plan, — 

He's  ben  true  to  one  party, — an'  thet  is  himself ; — 
So  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  he  shall  vote  fer  Gineral  C. 

131 


WHAT    MR.    ROBINSON    THINKS 

Gineral  C.  he  goes  in  fer  the  war ; 

He  don't  vally  principle  more'n  an  old  cud ; 
Wut  did  God  make  us  raytional  creeturs  fer, 
But  glory  an'  gunpowder,  plunder  an'  blood  ? 
So  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  he  shall  vote  for  Gineral  C. 

We  were  gettin'  on  nicely  up  here  to  our  village, 

With  good  old  idees  o'  wut's  right  an'  wut  ain't, 
We  kind  o'  thought  Christ  went  agin  war  an'  pillage, 
An'  thet  eppyletts  worn't  the  best  mark  of  a  saint ; 
But  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  this  kind  o'  thing's  an  exploded  idee. 

The  side  of  our  country  must  oilers  be  took, 

An'  Presidunt  Polk,  you  know,  he  is  our  country, 
An'  the  angel  thet  writes  all  our  sins  in  a  book 
Puts  the  debit  to  him,  an'  to  us  the  per  contry; 
An'  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  this  is  his  view  o'  the  thing  to  a  T. 

Parson  Wilbur  he  calls  all  these  argimunts  lies ; 

Sez  they're  nothin'  on  airth  but  jest  fee,  faw,  fum; 
An'  thet  all  this  big  talk  of  our  destinies 
Is  half  on  it  ign'ance,  an' t'  other  half  rum ; 
But  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  it  ain't  no  sech  thing ;  an',  of  course,  so  must  we. 


132 


JAMES    RUSSELL    LOWELL 

Parson  Wilbur  sez  he  never  heerd  in  his  life 

Thet  th'  Apostles  rigged  out  in  their  swaller-tail  coats, 
An'  marched  round  in  front  of  a  drum  an'  a  fife, 
To  git  some  on  'em  office,  an'  some  on  'em  votes ; 
But  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  they  didn't  know  everythin'  down  in  Judee. 

Wall,  it's  a  marcy  we've  gut  folks  to  tell  us 

The  rights  an'  the  wrongs  o'  these  matters,  I  vow, — 
God  sends  country  lawyers,  an'  other  wise  fellers, 
To  start  the  world's  team  wen  it  gits  in  a  slough ; 
Fer  John  P. 
Robinson  he 
Sez  the  world'll  go  right,  ef  he  hollers  out  Gee ! 


J33 


THE  DAY  WE  DO  NOT  CELEBRATE 

BY    ROBERT    J.    BURDETTE 

One  famous  day  in  great  July 

John  Adams  said,  long  years  gone  by, 

"This  day  that  makes  a  people  free 
Shall  be  the  people's  jubilee, 

"With  games,  guns,  sports,  and  shows  displayed, 
With  bells,  pomp,  bonfires,  and  parade, 

"Throughout  this  land,  from  shore  to  shore, 
From  this  time  forth,  forevermore." 

The  years  passed  on,  and  by  and  by, 
Men's  hearts  grew  cold  in  hot  July. 

And  Mayor  Hawarden  Cholmondely  said 
"Hof  rockets  Hi  ham  sore  hafraid ; 

"Hand  hif  you  send  one  hup  hablaze, 
Hi'll  send  you  hup  for  sixty  days." 

Then  said  the  Mayor  O'Shay  McQuade, 
"Thayre  uz  no  nade  fur  no  perade." 

And  Mayor  Hans  Von  Schwartzenmeyer 
Proclaimed,  "I'll  haf  me  no  bonfier !" 

Said  Mayor  Baptiste  Raphael 
"No  make-a  ring-a  dat-a  bell !" 

134 


ROBERT  J.  BURDETTE 

By  gar!"  cried  Mayor  Jean  Crapaud, 
Zis  July  games  vill  has  to  go !" 


And  Mayor  Knud  Christofferrssonn 

Said,  "Djeath  to  hjjim  who  f jjres  a  gjjunn !" 

At  last,  cried  Mayor  Wun  Lung  Lee — 
"Too  muchee  hoop-la  boberee!" 

And  so  the  Yankee  holiday, 
Of  proclamations  passed  away. 


Vol.   1—11 


135 


THE  YANKEE  DUDE'LL  DO 

BY   S.    E.    KISER 

When  Cholly  swung  his  golf-stick  on  the  links, 

Or  knocked  the  tennis-ball  across  the  net, 
With  his  bangs  done  up  in  cunning  little  kinks — 
When  he  wore  the  tallest  collar  he  could  get, 
Oh,  it  was  the  fashion  then 
To  impale  him  on  the  pen — 
To  regard  him  as  a  being  made  of  putty  through  and 
through ; 
But  his  racquet's  laid  away, 
He  is  roughing  it  to-day, 
And  heroically  proving  that  the  Yankee  dude'll  do. 

When  Algy,  as  some  knight  of  old  arrayed, 

Was  the  leading  figure  at  the  "fawncy  ball," 
We  loathed  him  for  the  silly  part  he  played, 
He  was  set  down  as  a  monkey — that  was  all ! 
Oh,  we  looked  upon  him  then 
As  unfit  to  class  with  men, 
As  one  whose  heart  was  putty,  and  whose  brains  were 
made  of  glue ; 
But  he  's  thrown  his  cane  away, 
And  he  grasps  a  gun  to-day, 
While  the  world  beholds  him,  knowing  that  the  Yankee 
dude'll  do. 

136 


S.    E.    KISER 

When  Clarence  cruised  about  upon  his  yacht, 

Or  drove  out  with  his  footman  through  the  park, 
His  mamma,  it  was  generally  thought, 

Ought  to  have  him  in  her  keeping  after  dark ! 
Oh,  we  ridiculed  him  then, 
We  impaled  him  on  the  pen, 
We  thought  he  was  effeminate,  we  dubbed  him  "Sissy," 
too; 
But  he  nobly  marched  away, 
He  is  eating  pork  to-day, 
And  heroically  proving  that  the  Yankee  dude'll  do. 

How  they  hurled  themselves  against  the  angry  foe, 

In  the  jungle  and  the  trenches  on  the  hill ! 
When  the  word  to  charge  was  given,  every  dude  was 
on  the  go — 
He  was  there  to  die,  to  capture,  or  to  kill ! 
Oh,  he  struck  his  level  when 
Men  were  called  upon  again 
To  preserve  the  ancient  glory  of  the  old  red,  white,  and 
blue! 
He  has  thrown  his  spats  away, 
He  is  wearing  spurs  to-day, 
And  the  world  will  please  take  notice  that  the  Yankee 
dude'll  do! 


*37 


SPELLING  DOWN  THE  MASTER 

BY   EDWARD   EGGLESTON 

"I  'low,"  said  Mrs.  Means,  as  she  stuffed  the  tobacco 
into  her  cob  pipe  after  supper  on  that  eventful  Wednes- 
day evening :  "I  'low  they'll  app'int  the  Squire  to  gin  out 
the  words  to-night.  They  mos'  always  do,  you  see,  kase 
he's  the  peartest  ole  man  in  this  deestrick;  and  I  'low 
some  of  the  young  fellers  would  have  to  git  up  and  dust 
ef  they  would  keep  up  to  him.  And  he  uses  sech  remark- 
able smart  words.  He  speaks  so  polite,  too.  But  laws! 
don't  I  remember  when  he  was  poarer  nor  Job's  turkey  ? 
Twenty  year  ago,  when  he  come  to  these  'ere  diggin's, 
that  air  Squire  Hawkins  was  a  poar  Yankee  school-mas- 
ter, that  said  'pail'  instid  of  bucket,  and  that  called  a  cow 
a  'caow/  and  that  couldn't  tell  to  save  his  gizzard  what 
we  meant  by  'low  and  by  right  smart.  But  he's  larnt  our 
ways  now,  an'  he's  jest  as  civilized  as  the  rest  of  us.  You 
would-n  know  he'd  ever  been  a  Yankee.  He  didn't  stay 
poar  long.  Not  he.  He  jest  married  a  right  rich  girl! 
He !  he !"  And  the  old  woman  grinned  at  Ralph,  and  then 
at  Mirandy,  and  then  at  the  rest,  until  Ralph  shuddered. 
Nothing  was  so  frightful  to  him  as  to  be  fawned  on  by 
this  grinning  ogre,  whose  few  lonesome,  blackish  teeth 
seemed  ready  to  devour  him.  "He  didn't  stay  poar,  you 
bet  a  hoss !"  and  with  this  the  coal  was  deposited  on  the 
pipe,  and  the  lips  began  to  crack  like  parchment  as  each 
puff  of  smoke  escaped.   "He  married  rich,  you  see,"  and 

138 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

here  another  significant  look  at  the  young  master,  and  an- 
other fond  look  at  Mirandy,  as  she  puffed  away  reflect- 
ively. "His  wife  hadn't  no  book-larnin\  She'd  been 
through  the  spellin'-book  wunst,  and  had  got  as  fur  as 
'asperity'  on  it  a  second  time.  But  she  couldn't  read  a 
word  when  she  was  married,  and  never  could.  She  warn't 
overly  smart.  She  hadn't  hardly  got  the  sense  the  law 
allows.  But  schools  was  skase  in  them  air  days,  and,  be- 
sides, book-larnin'  don't  do  no  good  to  a  woman.  Makes 
her  stuck  up.  I  never  knowed  but  one  gal  in  my  life  as 
had  ciphered  into  fractions,  and  she  was  so  dog-on  stuck 
up  that  she  turned  up  her  nose  one  night  at  a  apple-peelin' 
bekase  I  tuck  a  sheet  off  the  bed  to  splice  out  the  table- 
cloth, which  was  ruther  short.  And  the  sheet  was  mos' 
clean  too.  Had-n  been  slep  on  more'n  wunst  or  twicet. 
But  I  was  goin'  fer  to  say  that  when  Squire  Hawkins 
married  Virginny  Gray  he  got  a  heap  o'  money,  or,  what's 
the  same  thing  mostly,  a  heap  o'  good  land.  And  that's 
better'n  book-larnin',  says  I.  Ef  a  gal  had  gone  clean 
through  all  eddication,  and  got  to  the  rule  of  three  itself, 
that  would-n  buy  a  feather-bed.  Squire  Hawkins  jest  put 
eddication  agin  the  gal's  farm,  and  traded  even,  an'  ef 
ary  one  of  'em  got  swindled,  I  never  heerd  no  complaints." 

And  here  she  looked  at  Ralph  in  triumph,  her  hard  face 
splintering  into  the  hideous  semblance  of  a  smile.  And 
Mirandy  cast  a  blushing,  gushing,  all-imploring,  and  all- 
confiding  look  on  the  young  master. 

"I  say,  ole  woman,"  broke  in  old  Jack,  "I  say,  wot  is 
all  this  'ere  spoutin'  about  the  Square  fer?"  and  old  Jack, 
having  bit  off  an  ounce  of  "pigtail,"  returned  the  plug  to 
his  pocket. 

As  for  Ralph,  he  fell  into  a  sort  of  terror.  He  had  a 
guilty  feeling  that  this  speech  of  the  old  lady's  had  some- 
how committed  him  beyond  recall  to  Mirandy.    He  did 

139 


SPELLING    DOWN    THE    MASTER 

not  see  visions  of  breach-of-promise  suits.  But  he  trem- 
bled at  the  thought  of  an  avenging  big  brother. 

"Hanner,  you  kin  come  along,  too,  ef  you're  a  mind, 
when  you  git  the  dishes  washed,"  said  Mrs.  Means  to  the 
bound  girl,  as  she  shut  and  latched  the  back  door.  The 
Means  family  had  built  a  new  house  in  front  of  the  old 
pne,  as  a  sort  of  advertisement  of  bettered  circumstances, 
an  eruption  of  shoddy  feeling ;  but  when  the  new  building 
was  completed,  they  found  themselves  unable  to  occupy 
it  for  anything  else  than  a  lumber  room,  and  so,  except 
a  parlor  which  Mirandy  had  made  an  effort  to  furnish  a 
little  (in  hope  of  the  blissful  time  when  somebody  should 
"set  up"  with  her  of  evenings),  the  new  building  was  al- 
most unoccupied,  and  the  family  went  in  and  out  through 
the  back  door,  which,  indeed,  was  the  front  door  also,  for, 
according  to  a  curious  custom,  the  "front"  of  the  house 
was  placed  toward  the  south,  though  the  "big  road" 
(Hoosier  for  highway)  ran  along  the  northwest  side,  or, 
rather,  past  the  northwest  corner  of  it. 

When  the  old  woman  had  spoken  thus  to  Hannah  and 
had  latched  the  door,  she  muttered,  "That  gal  don't  never 
show  no  gratitude  fer  favors ;"  to  which  Bud  rejoined  that 
he  didn't  think  she  had  no  great  sight  to  be  pertickler 
thankful  fer.  To  which  Mrs.  Means  made  no  reply, 
thinking  it  best,  perhaps,  not  to  wake  up  her  dutiful  son 
on  so  interesting  a  theme  as  her  treatment  of  Hannaha 
Ralph  felt  glad  that  he  was  this  evening  to  go  to  another 
boarding  place.  He  should  not  hear  the  rest  of  the  con- 
troversy. 

Ralph  walked  to  the  school-house  with  Bill.  They  were 
friends  again.  For  when  Hank  Banta's  ducking  and  his 
dogged  obstinacy  in  sitting  in  his  wet  clothes  had  brought 
on  a  serious  fever,  Ralph  had  called  together  the  big  boys, 
and  had  said :   "We  must  take  care  of  one  another,  boys. 

140 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

Who  will  volunteer  to  take  turns  sitting  up  with  Henry  ?" 
He  put  his  own  name  down,  and  all  the  rest  followed. 

"William  Means  and  myself  will  sit  up  to-night,"  said 
Ralph.  And  poor  Bill  had  been  from  that  moment  the 
teacher's  friend.  He  was  chosen  to  be  Ralph's  companion. 
He  was  Puppy  Means  no  longer!  Hank  could  not  be 
conquered  by  kindness,  and  the  teacher  was  made  to  feel 
the  bitterness  of  his  resentment  long  after.  But  Bill 
Means  was  for  the  time  entirely  placated,  and  he  and 
Ralph  went  to  spelling-school  together. 

Every  family  furnished  a  candle.  There  were  yellow 
dips  and  white  dips,  burning,  smoking,  and  flaring. 
There  was  laughing,  and  talking,  and  giggling,  and 
simpering,  and  ogling-,  and  flirting,  and  courting.  What 
a  full-dress  party  is  to  Fifth  Avenue,  a  spelling-school  is 
to  Hoopole  County.  It  is  an  occasion  which  is  metaphor- 
ically inscribed  with  this  legend :  "Choose  your  partners." 
Spelling  is  only  a  blind  in  Hoopole  County,  as  is  dancing 
on  Fifth  Avenue.  But  as  there  are  some  in  society  who 
love  dancing  for  its  own  sake,  so  in  Flat  Creek  district 
there  were  those  who  loved  spelling  for  its  own  sake,  and 
who,  smelling  the  battle  from  afar,  had  come  to  try  their 
skill  in  this  tournament,  hoping  to  freshen  the  laurels 
they  had  won  in  their  school  days. 

"I  'low,"  said  Mr.  Means,  speaking  as  the  principal 
school  trustee,  "I  'low  our  friend  the  Square  is  jest  the 
man  to  boss  this  'ere  consarn  to-night.  Ef  nobody  ob- 
jects, I'll  app'int  him.  Come,  Square,  don't  be  bashful. 
Walk  up  to  the  trough,  fodder  or  no  fodder,  as  the  man 
said  to  his  donkey." 

There  was  a  general  giggle  at  this,  and  many  of  the 
young  swains  took  occasion  to  nudge  the  girls  alongside 
them,  ostensibly  for  the  purpose  of  making  them  see  the 
joke,  but  really  for  the  pure  pleasure  of  nudging.    The 

141 


-  4&t1uS>JjlJtkS±--j  , 


SPELLING    DOWN    THE    MASTER 

Greeks  figured  Cupid  as  naked,  probably  because  he 
wears  so  many  disguises  that  they  could  not  select  a  cos- 
tume for  him. 

The  Squire  came  to  the  front.  Ralph  made  an  inven- 
tory of  the  agglomeration  which  bore  the  name  of  Squire 
Hawkins,  as  follows: 

1.  A  swallow-tail  coat  of  indefinite  age,  worn  only  on 
state  occasions,  when  its  owner  was  called  to  figure  in  his 
public  capacity.  Either  the  Squire  had  grown  too  large 
or  the  coat  too  small. 

2.  A  pair  of  black  gloves,  the  most  phenomenal,  ab- 
normal and  unexpected  apparition  conceivable  in  Flat 
Creek  district,  where  the  preachers  wore  no  coats  in  the 
summer,  and  where  a  black  glove  was  never  seen  except 
on  the  hands  of  the  Squire. 

3.  A  wig  of  that  dirty,  waxen  color  so  common  to 
wigs.  This  one  showed  a  continual  inclination  to  slip  off 
the  owner's  smooth,  bald  pate,  and  the  Squire  had  fre- 
quently to  adjust  it.  As  his  hair  had  been  red,  the  wig  did 
not  accord  with  his  face,  and  the  hair  ungrayed  was 
doubly  discordant  with  a  countenance  shriveled  by  age. 

4.  A  semicircular  row  of  whiskers  hedging  the  edge  of 
the  jaw  and  chin.  These  were  dyed  a  frightful  dead- 
black,  such  a  color  as  belonged  to  no  natural  hair  or 
beard  that  ever  existed.  At  the  roots  there  was  a  quarter 
of  an  inch  of  white,  giving  the  whiskers  the  appearance 
of  having  been  stuck  on. 

5.  A  pair  of  spectacles  "with  tortoise-shell  rim."  Wont 
to  slip  off. 

6.  A  glass  eye,  purchased  of  a  peddler,  and  differing  in 
color  from  its  natural  mate,  perpetually  getting  out  of 
focus  by  turning  in  or  out. 

7.  A  set  of  false  teeth,  badly  fitted,  and  given  to  bob- 
bing up  and  down. 

142 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

8.  The  Squire  proper,  to  whom  these  patches  were 
loosely  attached. 

It  is  an  old  story  that  a  boy  wrote  home  to  his  father 
begging  him  to  come  West,  because  "mighty  mean  men 
get  into  office  out  here."  But  Ralph  concluded  that  some 
Yankees  had  taught  school  in  Hoopole  County  who 
would  not  have  held  a  high  place  in  the  educational  in- 
stitutions of  Massachusetts.  Hawkins  had  some  New 
England  idioms,  but  they  were  well  overlaid  by  a  West- 
ern pronunciation. 

"Ladies  and  gentlemen,,,  he  began,  shoving  up  his 
spectacles,  and  sucking  his  lips  over  his  white  teeth  to 
keep  them  in  place,  "ladies  and  gentlemen,  young  men 
and  maidens,  raley  I'm  obleeged  to  Mr.  Means  fer  this 
honor,' '  and  the  Squire  took  both  hands  and  turned  the 
top  of  his  head  round  half  an  inch.  Then  he  adjusted  his 
spectacles.  Whether  he  was  obliged  to  Mr.  Means  for 
the  honor  of  being  compared  to  a  donkey  was  not  clear. 
"I  feel  in  the  inmost  compartments  of  my  animal  spirits 
a  most  happifying  sense  of  the  success  and  futility  of 
all  my  endeavors  to  sarve  the  people  of  Flat  Creek  dees- 
trick,  and  the  people  of  Tomkins  township,  in  my  weak- 
way  and  manner."  This  burst  of  eloquence  was  delivered 
with  a  constrained  air  and  an  apparent  sense  of  a  danger 
that  he,  Squire  Hawkins,  might  fall  to  pieces  in  his  weak 
way  and  manner,  and  of  the  success  and  futility  of  all 
attempts  at  reconstruction.  For  by  this  time  the  ghastly 
pupil  of  the  left  eye,  which  was  black,  was  looking  away 
round  to  the  left,  while  the  little  blue  one  on  the  right 
twinkled  cheerfully  toward  the  front.  The  front  teeth 
would  drop  down  so  that  the  Squire's  mouth  was  kept 
nearly  closed,  and  his  words  whistled  through. 

"I  feel  as  if  I  could  be  grandiloquent  on  this  interesting 
occasion,"  twisting  his  scalp  round,  "but  raley  I  must 

143 


SPELLING    DOWN    THE    MASTER 

forego  any  such  exertions.  It  is  spelling  you  want. 
Spelling  is  the  corner-stone,  the  grand,  underlying  sub- 
terfuge, of  a  good  eddication.  I  put  the  spellin'-book 
prepared  by  the  great  Daniel  Webster  alongside  the 
Bible.  I  do,  raley.  I  think  I  may  put  it  ahead  of  the 
Bible.  Fer  if  it  wurn't  fer  spellin' -books  and  sich  occa- 
sions as  these,  where  would  the  Bible  be?  I  should  like 
to  know.  The  man  who  got  >up,  who  compounded  this 
work  of  inextricable  valoo  was  a  benufactor  to  the  whole 
human  race  or  any  other."  Here  the  spectacles  fell  off. 
The  Squire  replaced  them  in  some  confusion,  gave  the 
top  of  his  head  another  twist,  and  felt  of  his  glass  eye, 
while  poor  Shocky  stared  in  wonder,  and  Betsey  Short 
rolled  from  side  to  side  in  the  effort  to  suppress  her 
giggle.  Mrs.  Means  and  the  other  old  ladies  looked  the 
applause  they  could  not  speak. 

"I  app'int  Larkin  Lanham  and  Jeems  Buchanan  fer 
captings,"  said  the  Squire.  And  the  two  young  men  thus 
named  took  a  stick  and  tossed  it  from  hand  to  hand  to 
decide  which  should  have  the  "first  choice."  One  tossed 
the  stick  to  the  other,  who  held  it  fast  just  where  he  hap- 
pened to  catch  it.  Then  the  first  placed  his  hand  above 
the  second,  and  so  the  hands  were  alternately  changed  to 
the  top.  The  one  who  held  the  stick  last  without  room  for 
the  other  to  take  hold  had  gained  the  lot.  This  was  tried 
three  times.  As  Larkin  held  the  stick  twice  out  of  three 
times,  he  had  the  choice.  He  hesitated  a  moment.  Every- 
body looked  toward  tall  Jim  Phillips.  But  Larkin  was 
fond  of  a  venture  on  unknown  seas,  and  so  he  said,  "I 
take  the  master,"  while  a  buzz  of  surprise  ran  round  the 
room,  and  the  captain  of  the  other  side,  as  if  afraid  his 
opponent  would  withdraw  the  choice,  retorted  quickly, 
and  with  a  little  smack  of  exultation  and  defiance  in  his 
voice,  "And  i*  take  Jeems  Phillips." 

144 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

And  soon  all  present,  except  a  few  of  the  old  folks, 
found  themselves  ranged  in  opposing  hosts,  the  poor 
spellers  lagging  in,  with  what  grace  they  could,  at  the 
foot  of  the  two  divisions.  The  Squire  opened  his  spelling- 
book  and  began  to  give  out  the  words  to  the  two  captains, 
who  stood  up  and  spelled  against  each  other.  It  was  not 
long  until  Larkin  spelled  "really"  with  one  /,  and  had  to 
sit  down  in  confusion,  while  a  murmur  of  satisfaction 
ran  through  the  ranks  of  the  opposing  forces.  His  own 
side  bit  their  lips.  The  slender  figure  of  the  young  teacher 
took  the  place  of  the  fallen  leader,  and  the  excitement 
made  the  house  very  quiet.  Ralph  dreaded  the  loss  of 
prestige  he  would  suffer  if  he  should  be  easily  spelled 
down.  And  at  the  moment  of  rising  he  saw  in  the  darkest 
corner  the  figure  of  a  well-dressed  young  man  sitting  in 
the  shadow.  Why  should  his  evil  genius  haunt  him? 
But  by  a  strong  effort  he  turned  his  attention  away  from 
Dr.  Small,  and  listened  carefully  to  the  words  which  the 
Squire  did  not  pronounce  very  distinctly,  spelling  them 
with  extreme  deliberation.  This  gave  him  an  air  of  hesi- 
tation which  disappointed  those  on  his  own  side.  They 
wanted  him  to  spell  with  a  dashing  assurance.  But  he 
did  not  begin  a  word  until  he  had  mentally  felt  his  way 
through  it.  x\fter  ten  minutes  of  spelling  hard  words 
Jeems  Buchanan,  the  captain  on  the  other  side,  spelled 
"atrocious"  with  an  s  instead  of  a  c,  and  subsided,  his 
first  choice,  Jeems  Phillips,  coming  up  against  the  teacher. 
This  brought  the  excitement  to  fever-heat.  For  though 
Ralph  was  chosen  first,  it  was  entirely  on  trust,  and  most 
of  the  company  were  disappointed.  The  champion  who 
now  stood  up  against  the  school-master  was  a  famous 
speller. 

Jim  Phillips  was  a  tall,  lank,  stoop-shouldered  fellow 
who  had  never  distinguished  himself  in  any  other  pursuit 

145 


SPELLING    DOWN    THE    MASTER 

than  spelling.  Except  in  this  one  art  of  spelling  he  was 
of  no  account.  He  could  not  catch  well  or  bat  well  in  ball. 
He  could  not  throw  well  enough  to  make  his  mark  in 
that  famous  Western  game  of  bull-pen.  He  did  not  suc- 
ceed well  in  any  study  but  that  of  Webster's  Elementary. 
But  in  that  he  was — to  use  the  usual  Flat  Creek  locution 
— in  that  he  was  "a  hoss."  This  genius  for  spelling  is  in 
some  people  a  sixth  sense,  a  matter  of  intuition.  Some 
spellers  are  born,  and  not  made,  and  their  facility  reminds 
one  of  the  mathematical  prodigies  that  crop  out  every 
now  and  then  to  bewilder  the  world.  Bud  Means,  fore- 
seeing that  Ralph  would  be  pitted  against  Jim  Phillips, 
had  warned  his  friend  that  Jim  could  "spell  like  thunder 
and  lightning,"  and  that  it  "took  a  powerful  smart  spel- 
ler" to  beat  him,  for  he  knew  "a  heap  of  spelling-book." 
To  have  "spelled  down  the  master"  is  next  thing  to  hav- 
ing whipped  the  biggest  bully  in  Hoopole  County,  and 
Jim  had  "spelled  down"  the  last  three  masters.  He  di- 
vided the  hero-worship  of  the  district  with  Bud  Means. 

For  half  an  hour  the  Squire  gave  out  hard  words. 
What  a  blessed  thing  our  crooked  orthography  is !  With- 
out it  there  could  be  no  spelling-schools.  As  Ralph  dis- 
covered his  opponent's  metal  he  became  more  and  more 
cautious.  He  was  now  satisfied  that  Jim  would  eventu- 
ally beat  him.  The  fellow  evidently  knew  more  about  the 
spelling-book  than  old  Noah  Webster  himself.  As  he 
stood  there,  with  his  dull  face  and  long,  sharp  nose,  his 
hands  behind  his  back,  and  his  voice  spelling  infallibly, 
it  seemed  to  Hartsook  that  his  superiority  must  lie  in  his 
nose.  Ralph's  cautiousness  answered  a  double  purpose; 
it  enabled  him  to  tread  surely,  and  it  was  mistaken  by 
Jim  for  weakness.  Phillips  was  now  confident  that  he 
should  carry  off  the  scalp  of  the  fourth  school-master  be- 
fore the  evening  was  over.    He  spelled  eagerly,  confi- 

146 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

dently,  brilliantly.  Stoop-shouldered  as  he  was,  he  began 
to  straighten  up.  In  the  minds  of  all  the  company  the 
odds  were  in  his  favor.  He  saw  this,  and  became  am- 
bitious to  distinguish  himself  by  spelling  without  giving 
the  matter  any  thought. 

Ralph  always  believed  that  he  would  have  been  speedily 
defeated  by  Phillips  had  it  not  been  for  two  thoughts 
which  braced  him.  The  sinister  shadow  of  young  Dr. 
Small  sitting  in  the  dark  corner  by  the  water-bucket 
nerved  him.  A  victory  over  Phillips  was  a  defeat  to  one 
who  wished  only  ill  to  the  young  school-master.  The 
other  thought  that  kept  his  pluck  alive  was  the  recollec- 
tion of  Bull.  He  approached  a  word  as  Bull  approached 
the  raccoon.  He  did  not  take  hold  until  he  was  sure  of 
his  game.  When  he  took  hold,  it  was  with  a  quiet  assur- 
ance of  success.  As  Ralph  spelled  in  this  dogged  way 
for  half  an  hour  the  hardest  words  the  Squire  could  find, 
the  excitement  steadily  rose  in  all  parts  of  the  house,  and 
Ralph's  friends  even  ventured  to  whisper  that  "maybe 
Jim  had  cotched  his  match,  after  all !" 

But  Phillips  never  doubted  of  his  success. 

"Theodolite,"  said  the  Squire. 

"T-h-e,  the,  o-d,  od,  theod,  o,  theodo,  1-y-t-e,  the- 
odolite/' spelled  the  champion. 

"Next,"  said  the  Squire,  nearly  losing  his  teeth  in  his 
excitement.  Ralph  spelled  the  word  slowly  and  correctly, 
and  the  conquered  champion  sat  down  in  confusion.  The 
excitement  was  so  great  for  some  minutes  that  the  spell- 
ing was  suspended.  Everybody  in  the  house  had  shown 
sympathy  with  one  or  the  other  of  the  combatants,  ex- 
cept the  silent  shadow  in  the  corner.  It  had  not  moved 
during  the  contest,  and  did  not  show  any  interest  now  in 
the  result. 

"Gewhilliky  crickets !  Thunder  and  lightning !  Licked 

147 


SPELLING    DOWN    THE    MASTER 

him  all  to  smash!"  said  Bud,  rubbing  his  hands  on  his 
knees.   "That  beats  my  time  all  holler !" 

And  Betsey  Short  giggled  until  her  tuck-comb  fell  out, 
though  she  was  not  on  the  defeated  side. 

Shocky  got  up  and  danced  with  pleasure. 

But  one  suffocating  look  from  the  aqueous  eyes  of 
Mirandy  destroyed  the  last  spark  of  Ralph's  pleasure  in 
his  triumph,  and  sent  that  awful  below-zero  feeling  all 
through  him. 

"He's  powerful  smart,  is  the  master,"  said  old  Jack  to 
Mr.  Pete  Jones.  "He'll  beat  the  whole  kit  and  tuck  of 
'em  afore  he's  through.  I  know'd  he  was  smart.  That's 
the  reason  I  tuck  him,"  proceeded  Mr.  Means. 

"Yaas,  but  he  don't  lick  enough.  Not  nigh,"  answered 
Pete  Jones.   "No  lickin',  no  larnin',"  says  I. 

It  was  now  not  so  hard.  The  other  spellers  on  the  op- 
posite side  went  down  quickly  under  the  hard  words 
which  the  Squire  gave  out.  The  master  had  mowed  down 
all  but  a  few,  his  opponents  had  given  up  the  battle,  and 
all  had  lost  their  keen  interest  in  a  contest  to  which  there 
could  be  but  one  conclusion,  for  there  were  only  the  poor 
spellers  left.  But  Ralph  Hartsook  ran  against  a  stump 
where  he  was  least  expecting  it.  It  was  the  Squire's 
custom,  when  one  of  the  smaller  scholars  or  poorer  spel- 
lers rose  to  spell  against  the  master,  to  give  out  eight  or 
ten  easy  words,  that  they  might  have  some  breathing- 
spell  before  being  slaughtered,  and  then  to  give  a  poser 
or  two  which  soon  settled  them.  He  let  them  run  a  little, 
as  a  cat  does  a  doomed  mouse.  There  was  now  but  one 
person  left  on  the  opposite  side,  and,  as  she  rose  in  her 
blue  calico  dress,  Ralph  recognized  Hannah,  the  bound 
girl  at  old  Jack  Means's.  She  had  not  attended  school  in 
the  district,  and  had  never  spelled  in  spelling-school  be- 
fore, and  was  chosen  last  as  an  uncertain  quantity.   The 

148 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

Squire  began  with  easy  words  of  two  syllables,  from  that 
page  of  Webster,  so  well  known  to  all  who  ever  thumbed 
it,  as  "baker,"  from  the  word  that  stands  at  the  top  of  the 
page.  She  spelled  these  words  in  an  absent  and  uninter- 
ested manner.  As  everybody  knew  that  she  would  have 
to  go  down  as  soon  as  this  preliminary  skirmishing  was 
over,  everybody  began  to  get  ready  to  go  home,  and  al- 
ready there  was  the  buzz  of  preparation.  Young  men 
were  timidly  asking  girls  if  "they  could  see  them  safe 
home,"  which  was  the  approved  formula,  and  were  trem- 
bling in  mortal  fear  of  "the  mitten."  Presently  the 
Squire,  thinking  it  time  to  close  the  contest,  pulled  his 
scalp  forward,  adjusted  his  glass  eye,  which  had  been 
examining  his  nose  long  enough,  and  turned  over  the 
leaves  of  the  book  to  the  great  words  at  the  place  known 
to  spellers  as  "incomprehensibility,"  and  began  to  give 
out  those  "words  of  eight  syllables  with  the  accent  on  the 
sixth."  Listless  scholars  now  turned  round,  and  ceased  to 
whisper,  in  order  to  be  in  at  the  master's  final  triumph. 
But  to  their  surprise  "ole  Miss  Meanses'  white  nigger," 
as  some  of  them  called  her  in  allusion  to  her  slavish  life, 
spelled  these  great  words  with  as  perfect  ease  as  the  mas- 
ter. Still  not  doubting  the  result,  the  Squire  turned  from 
place  to  place  and  selected  all  the  hard  words  he  could 
find.  The  school  became  utterly  quiet,  the  excitement  was 
too  great  for  the  ordinary  buzz.  Would  "Meanses'  Han- 
ner"  beat  the  master?  beat  the  master  that  had  laid  out 
Jim  Phillips?  Everybody's  sympathy  was  now  turned  to 
Hannah.  Ralph  noticed  that  even  Shocky  had  deserted 
him,  and  that  his  face  grew  brilliant  every  time  Hannah 
spelled  a  word.  In  fact,  Ralph  deserted  himself.  As  he 
saw  the  fine,  timid  face  of  the  girl  so  long  oppressed 
flush  and  shine  with  interest;  as  he  looked  at  the  rather 
low  but  broad  and  intelligent  brow  and  the  fresh,  white 

149 


SPELLING   DOWN    THE   MASTER 

complexion  and  saw  the  rich,  womanly  nature  coming 
to  the  surface  under  the  influence  of  applause  and  sym- 
pathy— he  did  not  want  to  beat.  If  he  had  not  felt  that  a 
victory  given  would  insult  her,  he  would  have  missed  in- 
tentionally. The  bulldog,  the  stern,  relentless  setting  of 
the  will,  had  gone,  he  knew  not  whither.  And  there  had 
come  in  its  place,  as  he  looked  in  that  face,  a  something 
which  he  did  not  understand.  You  did  not,  gentle  reader, 
the  first  time  it  came  to  you. 

The  Squire  was  puzzled.  He  had  given  out  all  the  hard 
words  in  the  book.  He  again  pulled  the  top  of  his  head 
forward.  Then  he  wiped  his  spectacles  and  put  them  on. 
Then  out  of  the  depths  of  his  pocket  he  fished  up  a  list  of 
words  just  coming  into  use  in  those  days — words  not  in 
the  spelling-book.  He  regarded  the  paper  attentively  with 
his  blue  right  eye.  His  black  left  eye  meanwhile  fixed 
itself  in  such  a  stare  on  Mirandy  Means  that  she  shud- 
dered and  hid  her  eyes  in  her  red  silk  handkerchief. 

"Daguerreotype,"  sniffed  the  Squire.  It  was  Ralph's 
turn. 

"D-a-u,  dau— " 

"Next" 

And  Hannah  spelled  it  right. 

Such  a  buzz  followed  that  Betsey  Short's  giggle  could 
not  be  heard,  but  Shocky  shouted:  "Hanner  beat!  my 
Hanner  spelled  down  the  master  I"  And  Ralph  went  over 
and  congratulated  her. 

And  Dr.  Small  sat  perfectly  still  in  the  corner. 

And  then  the  Squire  called  them  to  order,  and  said: 
"As  our  friend  Hanner  Thomson  is  the  only  one  left  on 
her  side,  she  will  have  to  spell  against  nearly  all  on  t'other 
side.  I  shall  therefore  take  the  liberty  of  procrastinating 
the  completion  of  this  interesting  and  exacting  contest 
until  to-morrow  evening.  I  hope  our  friend  Hanner  may 

150 


EDWARD    EGGLESTON 

again  carry  off  the  cypress  crown  of  glory.  There  is 
nothing  better  for  us  than  healthful  and  kindly  simula- 
tion." 

Dr.  Small,  who  knew  the  road  to  practice,  escorted 
Mirandy,  and  Bud  went  home  with  somebody  else.  The 
others  of  the  Means  family  hurried  on,  while  Hannah, 
the  champion,  stayed  behind  a  minute  to  speak  to  Shocky. 
Perhaps  it  was  because  Ralph  saw  that  Hannah  must  go 
alone  that  he  suddenly  remembered  having  left  something 
which  was  of  no  consequence,  and  resolved  to  go  round 
by  Mr.  Means's  and  get  it 


MYOPIA 

BY  WALLACE  RICE 

As  down  the  street  he  took  his  stroll, 

He  cursed,  for  all  he  is  a  saint. 
He  saw  a  sign  atop  a  pole, 
As  down  the  street  he  took  a  stroll, 
And  climbed  it  up  (near-sighted  soul), 
So  he  could  read — and  read  "FRESH 
PAINT,"     .     .     . 
As  down  the  street  he  took  a  stroll, 
He  cursed,  for  all  he  is  a  saint. 


Vol.  1—12 


151 


ANATOLE  DUBOIS  AT  DE  HORSE  SHOW 

BY    WALLACE   BRUCE   AMSBARY 

My  vife  an'  me  ve  read  so  moch 

In  papier  here  of  late, 
About  Chicago  Horse  Show,  ve 

Remember  day  an'  date. 
Ve  mak'  it  pp  togedder  dat 

Ve  go  an'  see  dat  show, 
Dere's  som't'ing  dere  ve  fin'  it  out 

Maybe  ve  vant  to  know. 

Ve  leave  de  leddle  farm  avile, 

Dat's  near  to  Bourbonnais ; 
Ve're  soon  op  to  Chicago  town 

For  spen'  de  night  an'  day ; 
I  nevere  lak'  dat  busy  place, 

It's  mos'  too  swif  for  me, — 
Ve  vaste  no  tarn',  but  gat  to  place 

Dat  ve  is  com'  for  see. 

Ve  pay  de  price  for  tak'  us  in, 

Dey  geeve  me  deux  ticquette ; 
Charlotte  an'  me  ve  com'  for  see 

De  Horse  Show  now,  you  bet. 
Ve  soon  gat  in  it  veree  moch, 

"De  push,"  I  t'ink  you  call, 
To  inside  on  de  beeg  building, 

Ve're  going  to  see  it  all. 
152 


WALLACE  BRUCE  AMSBARY 

De  Coliseum  is  de  place, 

Dey  mak'  de  Horse  Show  dere, 
Five  tarn's  so  beeg  dan  any  barn 

At  Bourbonnais,  by  gar ! 
I'm  look  aroun'  for  place  dey  haf 

For  dem  to*  pitch  de  hay. 
"I  guess  it's  'out  of  sight,'  I  t'ink," 

Dey's  von  man  to  me  say. 

An'  den  ve  valk  aroun'  an'  'roun' 

Som'  horses  for  to  see ; 
Dere's  pretty  vomans,  lots  of  dem, 

But,  for  de  life  of  me, 
I  can  not  see  de  trotter  nag, 

Or  vat's  called  t'oroughbred, 
I  vonder  if  ve  mak'  mistake, 

Gat  in  wrong  place  instead. 

But  Charlotte  is  not  disappoint', 

Her  eyes  dey  shine  so>  bright, 
It's  ven  she  sees  dem  vimmens  folks, 

Dey  dance  vit  moch  delight ; 
I  den  vos  tak'  a  look  myself 

On  ladies  vit  fin'  drass, 
Dere's  nodding  else  in  dat  whol'  place 

Dat  is  so  interes'. 

I  say,  "Charlotte,"  say  I  to  her, 

"Dat  ladee  in  box  seat — 
Across  de  vay  vos  von  beeg  swell, 

Her  beauty's  hard  to  beat ; 
De  von  dat's  gat  ionee  eyeglass 

Opon  a  leddle  stek, 
I'm  t'ink  she  is  most'  fin'  \ookin' 

Wen  she  bow  an'  spe'k. 

153 


ANATOLE  DUBOIS  AT  DE  HORSE  SHOW 

"It's  pretty  drass  dat  she's  got  on, 

I  lak'  de  polonaise, 
Vere  bodice  it  is  all  meex  op 

Vit  jabot  all  de  vays. 
Dat's  hang  in  front  vit  pleats  all  roun' — 

It  is  von  fin'  tableau." 
An'  den  Charlotte  she  turn  to  me 

An'  ask  me  how  I  know 

So  moch  about  de  Beeg  Horse  Show, 

W'ich  we  are  com'  for  see ; 
An'  den  I  op  an'  tol'  her  dere 

Dat  I  had  com'  to  be 
Expert  on  informatione, 

Read  papier,  I  fin'  out 
Vat  all  is  in  de  Horse's  Show, 

An'  vat's  it  all  about. 

I  point  to  ladee  in  nex'  box, 

She's  feex  op  mighty  veil, 
I  vish  I  could  haf  vords  enough 

Vat  she  had  on  to  tell ; 
De  firs'  part  it  vas  nodding  moch, 

From  cloth  it  vas  quite  free, 
Lak'  fleur-de-lis  at  Easter  tarn', 

Mos'  beautiful  to  see. 

An'  den  dere  is  commence  a  line 

Of  fluffy  cream  souffle, 
My  vife  it  mak'  her  very  diz', 

She's  not  a  vord  to  say. 
An'  den  com'  yard  of  crepe  de  chine, 

Vit  omelette  stripe  beneadt', 
All  fill  it  op  vit  fine  guimpe  jew'ls 

An'  concertina  pleat. 
154 


WALLACE    I 
lion  Dim!  an 

A  Horse  Shot 
I  tint  dat *: 


v 


5: 


THE  CHAMPION  CHECKER-PLAYER  OF 

AMERIKY 

BY   JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

Of  course  as  fur  as  Checker-play  in' s  concerned,  you 
can't  jest  adzackly  claim  'at  lots  makes  fortunes  and  lots 
gits  bu'sted  at  it — but  still,  it's  on'y  simple  jestice  to  ac- 
knowledge 'at  there're  absolute  p'ints  in  the  game  'at  takes 
scientific  principles  to  rigger  out,  and  a  mighty  level- 
headed feller  to  demonstrate,  don't  you  understand ! 

Checkers  is  a'  old  enough  game,  ef  age  is  any  rickom- 
mendation ;  and  it's  a'  evident  fact,  too,  'at  "the  tooth  of 
time,"  as  the  feller  says,  which  fer  the  last  six  thousand 
years  has  gained  some  reputation  fer  a-eatin'  up  things 
in  giner'l,  don't  'pear  to  'a'  gnawed  much  of  a  hole  in 
Checkers — jedgin'  from  the  checker-board  of  to-day  and 
the  ones  'at  they're  uccasionally  shovellin'  out  at  Pomp'y-i, 
er  whatever  its  name  is.  Turned  up  a  checker-board  there 
not  long  ago,  I  wuz  readin'  'bout,  'at  still  had  the  spots 
on — as  plain  and  fresh  as  the  modern  white-pine  board 
o'  our'n,  squared  off  with  pencil-marks  and  pokeberry- 
juice.  These  is  facts  'at  history  herself  has  dug  out,  and 
of  course  it  ain't  fer  me  ner  you  to  turn  our  nose  up  at 
Checkers,  whuther  we  ever  tamper  with  the  fool-game  er 
not.  Fur's  that's  concerned,  I  don't  p'tend  to  be  no 
checker-player  myse'f, — but  I  know'd  a  feller  onc't  'at 
could  play,  and  sorto'  made  a  business  of  it ;  and  that  man, 
in  my  opinion,  was  a  geenyus !  Name  wuz  Wesley  Cot- 
ter 1 — John  Wesley  Cotter  1 — jest  plain  Wes,  as  us  fellers 
round  the  Shoe-Shop  ust  to  call  him;  ust  to  alius  make 

156 


JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

the  Shoe-Shop  his  headquarters-like;  and,  rain  er  shine, 
wet  er  dry,  you'd  alius  find  Wes  on  hands,  ready  to  banter 
some  feller  fer  a  game,  er  jest  a-settin'  humped  up  there 
over  the  checker-board  all  alone,  a-cipher'n'  out  some  new 
move  er  'nuther,  and  whistlin'  low  and  solem'  to  hisse'f- 
like  and  a-payin'  no  attention  to  nobody. 

And  I'll  tell  you,  Wes  Cotterl  wuz  no  man's  fool,  as  sly 
as  you  keep  it !  He  wuz  a  deep  thinker,  Wes  wuz ;  and  ef 
he'd  'a'  jest  turned  that  mind  o'  his  loose  on  preachin',1 
fer  instunce,  and  the  'terpertation  o'  the  Bible,  don't  you 
know,  Wes  'ud  'a'  worked  p'ints  out  o'  there  'at  no  livin' 
expounderers  ever  got  in  gunshot  of ! 

But  Wes  he  didn't  'pear  to  be  cut  out  fer  nothin'  much 
but  jest  Checker-playin'.  Oh,  of  course,  he  could  knock 
round  his  own  woodpile  some,  and  garden  a  little,  more 
er  less;  and  the  neighbers  ust  to  find  Wes  purty  handy 
'bout  trimmin'  fruit-trees,  you  understand,  and  workin' 
:n  among  the  worms  and  cattapillers  in  the  vines  and 
shrubbery,  and  the  like.  And  handlin'  bees ! — They  wuzn't 
no  man  under  the  heavens  'at  knowed  more  'bout  handlin' 
bees'n  Wes  Cotterl ! — "Settlin'  "  the  blame'  things  when 
they  wuz  a-swarmin' ;  and  a-robbin'  hives,  and  all  sich 
fool-resks.  W'y,  I've  saw  Wes  Cotterl,  'fore  now,  when 
a  swarm  of  bees  'ud  settle  in  a'  orchard, — like  they  will 
sometimes,  you  know, — I've  saw  Wes  Cotterl  jest  roll  up 
his  shirt-sleeves  and  bend  down  a'  apple  tree  limb  'at  wuz 
jest  kivvered  with  the  pesky  things,  and  scrape  'em  back 
into  the  hive  with  his  naked  hands,  by  the  quart  and  gal- 
lon, and  never  git  a  scratch !  You  couldn't  hire  a  bee  to 
sting  Wes  Cotterl!  But  lazy? — I  think  that  man  had 
railly  ort  to  'a'  been  a'  Injun !  He  wuz  the  fust  and  on'y 
man  'at  ever  I  laid  eyes  on  'at  wuz  too  lazy  to  drap  a 
checker-man  to  p'int  out  the  right  road  fer  a  feller  'at 
ast  him  onc't  the  way  to  Burke's  Mill;  and  Wes,  'ithout 

157 


CHAMPION  CHECKER-PLAYER  OF  AMERIKY 

ever  a-liftin'  eye  er  finger,  jest  sorto'  crooked  out  that 
mouth  o'  his'n  in  the  direction  the  feller  wanted,  and 
says:  "H-yonder!"  and  went  on  with  his  whistlin\  But 
all  this  hain't  Checkers,  and  that's  what  I  started  out  to 
tell  ye. 

Wes  had  a  way  o'  jest  natchurly  a-cleanin'  out  any- 
body and  ever'body  'at  'ud  he'p  hold  up  a  checker-board ! 
Wes  wuzn't  what  you'd  call  a  lively  player  at  all,  ner  a 
competiter  'at  talked  much  'crost  the  board  er  made  much 
furse  over  a  game  whilse  he  wuz  a-playin'.  He  had  his 
faults,  o'  course,  and  would  take  back  moves  'casion'ly, 
er  inch  up  on  you  ef  you  didn't  watch  him,  mebby.  But, 
as  a  rule,  Wes  had  the  insight  to  grasp  the  idy  of  who- 
ever wuz  a-playin'  ag'in'  him,  and  his  style  o'  game,  you 
understand,  and  wuz  on  the  lookout  continual' ;  and  under 
sich  circumstances  could  play  as  honest  a  game  o'  Check- 
ers as  the  babe  unborn. 

One  thing  in  Wes's  favor  alius  wuz  the  feller's  temper. 
— Nothin'  'peared  to  aggervate  Wes,  and  nothin'  on  earth 
could  break  his  slow  and  lazy  way  o'  takin'  his  own  time 
fer  ever'thing.  You  jest  couldn't  crowd  Wes  er  git  him 
rattled  anyway. — Jest  'peared  to  have  one  fixed  principle, 
and  that  wuz  to  take  plenty  o'  time,  and  never  make  no 
move  'ithout  a-ciphern'n'  ahead  on  the  prob'ble  conse- 
quences, don't  you  understand !  "Be  shore  you're  right," 
Wes  'ud  say,  a-lettin'  up  fer  a  second  on  that  low  and 
sorry-like  little  wind-through-the-keyhole  whistle  o'  his, 
and  a-nosin'  out  a  place  whur  he  could  swap  one  man  fer 
tWo. — "Be  shore  you're  right" — and  somep'n'  after  this 
style  wuz  Wes's  way:  "Be  shore  you're  right" — (whis- 
tling a  long,  lonesome  bar  of  "Barbara  Allen") — "and 
then" — (another  long,  retarded  bar) — "go  ahead!" — and 
by  the  time  the  feller  'ud  git  through  with  his  whistlin', 
and  a-stoppin'  and  a-startin'  in  ag'in,  he'd  be  about  three 

158 


JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

men  ahead  to  your  one.  And  then  he'd  jest  go  on  with 
his  whistlin'  'sef  nothin'  had  happened,  and  mebby  you 
a-jest  a-rearin'  and  a-callin'  him  all  the  mean,  outlandish, 
ornry  names  'at  you  could  lay  tongue  to. 

But  Wes's  good  nature,  I  reckon,  was  the  thing  'at 
he'ped  him  out  as  much  as  any  other  p'ints  the  feller  had. 
And  Wes  yud  alius  win,  in  the  long  run! — I  don't  keer 
who  played  ag'inst  him!  It  was  on'y  a  question  o'  time 
with  Wes  o'  waxin'  it  to  the  best  of  'em.  Lots  o'  players 
has  tackled  Wes,  and  right  at  the  start  'ud  mebby  give 
him  trouble, — but  in  the  long  run,  now  mind  ye — in  the 
long  rim,  no  mortal  man,  I  reckon,  had  any  business  o' 
rubbin'  knees  with  Wes  Cotterl  under  no  airthly  checker- 
board in  all  this  vale  o'  tears ! 

I  mind  onc't  th'  come  along  a  high-toned  feller  from  in 
around  In'i'nop'lus  somers. — Wuz  a  lawyer,  er  some  p'fes- 
sional  kind  o'  man.  Had  a  big  yaller,  luther-kivvered 
book  under  his  arm,  and  a  bunch  o'  these-'ere  big  en- 
w/op's  and  a  lot  o'  suppeenies  stickin'  out  o'  his  breast- 
pocket. Mighty  slick-lookin'  feller  he  wuz ;  wore  a  stove- 
pipe hat,  sorto'  set  'way  back  on  his  head — so's  to  show 
off  his  Giner'l  Jackson  forr'ed,  don't  you  know !  Well-sir, 
this  feller  struck  the  place,  on  some  business  er  other,  and 
then  missed  the  hack  'at  ort  to  'a'  tuk  him  out  o'  here 
sooner'n  it  did  take  him  out ! — And  whilse  he  wuz  a-loaf- 
in'  round,  sorto'  lonesome — like  a  feller  alius  is  in  a 
strange  place,  you  know — he  kindo'  drapped  in  on  our 
crowd  at  the  Shoe-Shop,  ostenchably  to  git  a  boot-strop 
stitched  on,  but  /  knowed,  the  minute  he  set  foot  in  the 
door,  'at  that  feller  wanted  comp'ny  wuss'n  cobblin*. 

Well,  as  good  luck  would  have  it,  there  set  Wes,  as 
usual,  with  the  checker-board  in  his  lap,  a-playin'  all  by 
hisse'f,  and  a-whistlin'  so  low  and  solem'-like  and  sad  it 
railly  made  the  crowd  seem  like  a  religious  getherun'  o' 

159 


CHAMPION  CHECKER-PLAYER  OF  AMERIKY 

some  kind  er  other,  we  wuz  all  so  quiet  and  still-like,  as 
the  man  come  in. 

Well,  the  stranger  stated  his  business,  set  down,  tuk 
off  his  boot,  and  set  there  nussin'  his  foot  and  talkin' 
weather  fer  ten  minutes,  I  reckon,  'fore  he  ever  'peared 
to  notice  Wes  at  all.  We  wuz  all  back'ard,  anyhow,  'bout 
talkin'  much ;  besides,  we  knowed,  long  afore  he  come  in, 
all  about  how  hot  the  weather  wuz,  and  the  pore  chance 
there  wuz  o'  rain,  and  all  that;  and  so  the  subject  had 
purty  well  died  out,  when  jest  then  the  feller's  eyes  struck 
Wes  and  the  checker-board, — and  I'll  never  fergit  the 
warm,  salvation  smile  'at  flashed  over  him  at  the  prom- 
isin'  discovery.  "What I"  says  he,  a-grinnin'  like  a'  angel 
and  a-edgin'  his  cheer  to'rds  Wes,  "have  we  a  checker- 
board and  checkers  here  ?" 

"We  hev,"  says  I,  knowin'  'at  Wes  wouldn't  let  go  o' 
that  whistle  long  enough  to  answer — more'n  to  mebby 
nod  his  head. 

"And  who  is  your  best  player?"  says  the  feller,  kindo' 
pitiful-like,  with  another  inquirin'  look  at  Wes. 

"Him,"  says  I,  a-pokin'  Wes  with  a  peg-float.  But 
Wes  on'y  spit  kindo'  absent-like,  and  went  on  with  his 
whistlin'. 

"Much  of  a  player,  is  he?"  says  the  feller,  with  a  sorto' 
doubtful  smile  at  Wes  ag'in. 

"Plays  a  purty  good  hick'ry,"  says  I,  a-pokin'  Wes 
ag'in.  "Wes,"  says  I,  "here's  a  gentleman  'at  'ud  mebby 
like  to  take  a  hand  with  you  there,  and  give  you  a  few 
idys,"  says  I. 

"Yes,"  says  the  stranger,  eager-like,  a-settin'  his  plug- 
hat  keerful'  up  in  the  empty  shelvin',  and  a-rubbin'  his 
hands  and  smilin'  as  confident-like  as  old  Hoyle  hisse'f, — 
"Yes,  indeed,  I'd  be  glad  to  give  the  gentleman"  (meanin' 
Wes)  "a'  idy  er  two  about  Checkers — ef  he'd  jest  as  lief, 

1 60 


JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

— 'cause  I  reckon  ef  there' re  any  one  thing  'at  I  do  know 
more  about  'an  another,  it's  Checkers,"  says  he;  "and 
there're  no  game  'at  delights  me  more — pervidin',  o' 
course,  I  find  a  competiter  'at  kin  make  it  anyways  in- 
terestiri" 

"Got  much  of  a  rickord  on  Checkers?"  says  I. 

"Well,"  says  the  feller,  "I  don't  like  to  brag,  but  I've 
never  ben  beat — in  any  legitirnut  contest,"  says  he,  "and 
I've  played  more'n  one  o'  them/'  he  says,  "here  and  there 
round  the  country.  Of  course,  your  friend  here,"  he  went 
on,  smilin'  sociable  at  Wes,  "he'll  take  it  all  in  good  part 
ef  I  should  happen  to  lead  him  a  little — jest  as  I'd  do,"  he 
says,  "ef  it  wuz  possible  fer  him  to  lead  me." 

"Wes/'  says  I,  "has  warmed  the  wax  in  the  yeers  of 
some  mighty  good  checker-players,"  says  I,  as  he  squared 
the  board  around,  still  a-whistlin'  to  hisse'f-like,  as  the 
stranger  tuk  his  place,  a-smilin'-like  and  roachin'  back 
his  hair. 

"Move,"  says  Wes. 

"No,"  says  the  feller,  with  a  polite  flourish  of  his  hand ; 
"the  first  move  shall  be  your'n."  And,  by  jucks!  fer  all 
he  wouldn't  take  even  the  advantage  of  a  starter,  he  flaxed 
it  to  Wes  the  fust  game  in  less'n  fifteen  minutes. 

"Right  shore  you've  give'  me  your  best  player?"  He 
says,  smilin'  round  at  the  crowd,  as  Wes  set  squarin'  the 
board  fer  another  game  and  whistlin'  as  onconcerned-like 
as  ef  nothin'  had  happened  more'n  ordinary. 

"  'S  your  move,"  says  Wes,  a-squintin'  out  into  the 
game  'bout  forty  foot  from  shore,  and  a-whistlin'  purt' 
nigh  in  a  whisper. 

Well-sir,  it  'peared-like  the  feller  railly  didn't  try  to 
play ;  and  you  could  see,  too,  'at  Wes  knowed  he'd  about 
met  his  match,  and  played  accordin'.  He  didn't  make  no 
move  at  all  'at  he  didn't  give  keerful  thought  to ;  whilse 

161 


CHAMPION  CHECKER-PLAYER  OF  AMERIKY 

the  feller — !  well,  as  I  wuz  sayin',  it  jest  'peared-like 
Checkers  wuz  child's-play  fer  him!  Putt  in  most  o'  the 
time  'long  through  the  game  a-sayin'  things  calkilated  to 
kindo'  bore  a'  ordinary  man.  But  Wes  helt  hisse'f  purty 
level,  and  didn't  show  no  signs,  and  kep'  up  his  whistliri , 
mighty  well — considerin\ 

"Reckon  you  play  the  fiddle,  too,  as  well  as  Checkers?" 
says  the  feller,  laughin',  as  Wes  come  a-whistlin'  out  of 
the  little  end  of  the  second  game  and  went  on  a-fixin'  fer 
the  next  round. 

"  'S  my  move!"  says  Wes,  'thout  seemin'  to  notice  the 
feller's  tantalizin'  words  whatsomever. 

"'L!  this  time,"  thinks  I,  "Mr.  Smarty  from  the 
mdxolopin  deestricts,  you're  liable  to  git  waxed — shore!" 
But  the  feller  didn't  'pear  to  think  so  at  all,  and  played 
right  ahead  as  glib-like  and  keerless  as  ever — 'casion'ly 
a-throwin'  in  them  sircastic  remarks  o'  his'n, — 'bout  be- 
in'  "slow  and  shore"  'bout  things  in  gineral — "Liked  to 
see  that,"  he  said : — "Liked  to  see  fellers  do  things  with 
plenty  o'  deliberation,  and  even  ef  a  feller  wuzn't  much 
of  a  checker-player,  liked  to  see  him  die  slow  anyhow! — 
and  then  'tend  his  own  funeral,"  he  says, — "and  march  in 
the p'session — to  his  own  music"  says  he. — And  jest  then 
his  remarks  wuz  brung  to  a  close  by  Wes  a-jumpin'  two 
men,  and  a-lightin'  square  in  the  king-row.  .  .  . 
"Crown  that,"  says  Wes,  a-droppin'  back  into  his  old 
tune.  And  fer  the  rest  o'  that  game  Wes  helt  the  feller 
purty  level,  but  had  to  finally  knock  under — but  by  jest 
the  clos'test  kind  o'  shave  o'  winnin'. 

"They  ain't  much  use,"  says  the  feller,  "o'  keepin'  this 
thing  up — 'less  I  could  manage,  some  way  er  other,  to  git 
beat  onc't  'n  a  while!" 

"Move,"  says  Wes,  a-drappin'  back  into  the  same  old 
whistle  and  a.-settlin'  there. 

162 


JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

"  'Music  has  charms/  as  the  Good  Book  tells  Us,"  says 
the  feller,  kindo'  nervous-like,  and  a-roachin'  his  hair 
back  as  ef  some  sort  o'  p'tracted  headache  wuz  a-settin'  in. 

"Never  wuz  'skunked/  wuz  ye?"  says  Wes,  kindo*  sud- 
dent-like,  with  a  fur-off  look  in  them  big  white  eyes  o'  his 
— and  then  a-whistlin'  right  on  'sef  he  hadn't  said  nothing 

"Not  much!"  says  the  feller,  sorto'  s'prised-like,  as  ef 
such  a'  idy  as  that  had  never  struck  him  afore. — "Never 
was  'skunked*  myse'f:  but  I've  saw  fellers  in  my  time  'at 
wus!"  says  he. 

But  from  that  time  on  I  noticed  the  feller  'peared  to 
play  more  keerful,  and  railly  la'nched  into  the  game  with 
somepin'  like  inter' st.  Wes  he  seemed  to  be  jest  a-limber- 
in'-up-like ;  and-sir,  blame  me !  ef  he  didn't  walk  the  fel- 
ler's log  fer  him  that  time,  'thout  no  'pearent  trouble  at 
all! 

"And,  now,"  says  Wes,  all  quiet-like,  a-squarin'  the 
board  fer  another'n, — "we're  kindo'  gittin'  at  things  right. 
Move."  And  away  went  that  little  unconcerned  whistle 
o'  his  ag'in,  and  Mr.  City  man  jest  gittin'  white  and 
sweaty  too — he  wuz  so  nervous.  Ner  he  didn't  'pear  to 
find  much  to  laugh  at  in  the  next  game — ner  the  next  two 
games  nuther!  Things  wuz  a-gettin'  mighty  inters/in' 
'bout  them  times,  and  I  guess  the  feller  wuz  ser'ous-like 
a-wakin'  up  to  the  solem'  fact  'at  it  tuk  'bout  all  his  spare 
time  to  keep  up  his  end  o'  the  row,  and  even  that  state  o' 
pore  satisfaction  wuz  a-creepin'  furder  and  furder  away 
from  him  ever'  new  turn  he  undertook.  Whilse  Wes  jest 
'peared  to  git  more  deliber't'  and  certain  ever'  game ;  and 
that  unendin'  se'f-satisfied  and  comfortin'  little  whistle  o' 
his  never  drapped  a  stitch,  but  toed  out  ever'  game  alike, 
— to'rds  the  last,  and,  fer  the  most  part,  disasterss  to  the 
feller  'at  had  started  in  with  sich  confidence  and  actchul 
promise,  don't  you  know. 

163 


CHAMPION  CHECKER-PLAYER  OF  AMERIKY 

Well-sir,  the  feller  stuck  the  whole  forenoon  out,  and 
then  the  afternoon;  and  then  knuckled  down  to  it  'way 
into  the  night — yes,  and  plum  midnight! — And  he  buckled 
into  the  thing  bright  and  airly  next  morning!  And-sir, 
fer  two  long  days  and  nights,  a-hardly  a-stoppin'  long 
enough  to  eat,  the  feller  stuck  it  out, — and  Wes  a- jest 
a-warpin'  it  to  him  hand-over-fist,  and  leavin'  him  furder 
behind,  ever'  game ! — till  finally,  to'rds  the  last,  the  feller 
got  so  blamedon  worked  up  and  excited-like,  he  jes' 
'peared  actchully  purt'  nigh  plum  crazy  and  histurical  as 
a  woman ! 

It  was  a-gittin'  late  into  the  shank  of  the  second  day, 
and  the  boys  hed  jest  lit  a  candle  fer  'em  to  finish  out  one 
of  the  clost'est  games  the  feller'd  played  Wes  fer  some 
time.  But  Wes  wuz  jest  as  cool  and  ca'm  as  ever,  and  still 
a-whistlin'  consolin'  to  hisse'f-like,  whilse  the  feller  jest 
'peared  wore  out  and  ready  to  drap,  right  in  his  tracks 
any  minute. 

"Dnm  youT  he  snarled  out  at  Wes,  "hain't  you  never 
goern  to  move?"  And  there  set  Wes,  a-balancin'  a  check- 
er-man above  the  board,  a-studyin'  whur  to  set  it,  and 
a-fillin'  in  the  time  with  that-air  whistle. 

"Flames  and  Hashes!"  says  the  feller  ag'in,  "will  you 

ever  stop  that  death-seducin'  tune  o'  your'n  long  enough 

to  move?" — And  as  Wes  deliber't'fy  set  his  man  down 

whur  the  feller  see  he'd  haf  to  jump  it  and  lose  two  men 

and  a  king,  Wes  wuz  a-singin',  low  and  sad-like,  as  ef  all 

to  hisse'f : 

"O  we'll  move  that  man,  and  leave  him  there. — 
Fer  the  love  of  B-a-r-b — bry  Al-len  1" 

Well-sir!  the  feller  jest  jumped  to  his  feet,  upset  the 
board,  and  tore  out  o'  the  shop  stark-starin'  crazy — blame 
ef  he  wuzn't ! — 'cause  some  of  us  putt  out  after  him  and 
overtook  him  'way  beyent  the  'pike-bridge,  and  hollered 

164 


JAMES    WHITCOMB    RILEY 

to  him ; — and  he  shuk  his  fist  at  us  and  hollered  back  and 
says,  says  he :  "Ef  you  fellers  over  here,"  says  he,  "  '11 
agree  to  muzzle  that  durn  checker-player  o'  your'n,  I'll 
bet  fifteen  hunderd  dollars  to  fifteen  cents  'at  I  kin  beat 
him  'leven  games  out  of  ever'  dozent! — But  there're  no 
money,"  he  says,  "  'at  kin  hire  me  to  play  him  ag'in,  on 
this  aboundin'  airth,  on'y  on  them  conditions — 'cause  that 
durn,  eternal,  infernal,  dad-blasted  whistle  o'  his  'ud  beat 
the  oldest  man  in  Ameriky !" 


165 


DARBY  AND  JOAN 

BY   ST.    JOHN    HONEYWOOD 


When  Darby  saw  the  setting  sun, 
He  swung  his  scythe,  and  home  he  run, 
Sat  down,  drank  off  his  quart,  and  said, 
"My  work  is  done,  I'll  go  to  bed." 
"My  work  is  done!"  retorted  Joan, 
"My  work  is  done !  your  constant  tone ; 
But  hapless  woman  ne'er  can  say, 
'My  work  is  done,'  till  judgment  day. 
You  men  can  sleep  all  night,  but  we 
Must  toil." — "Whose  fault  is  that?"  quoth  he, 
"I  know  your  meaning,"  Joan  replied, 
"But,  Sir,  my  tongue  shall  not  be  tied ; 
I  will  go  on,  and  let  you  know 
What  work  poor  women  have  to  do : 
First,  in  the  morning,  though  we  feel 
As  sick  as  drunkards  when  they  reel ; 
Yes,  feel  such  pains  in  back  and  head 
As  would  confine  you  men  to  bed, 
We  ply  the  brush,  we  wield  the  broom, 
We  air  the  beds,  and  right  the  room ; 
The  cows  must  next  be  milked — and  then 
We  get  the  breakfast  for  the  men. 
Ere  this  is  done,  with  whimpering  cries, 
And  bristly  hair,  the  children  rise; 
166 


Vol.   1—13 


ST.    JOHN    HONEYWOOD 

These  must  be  dressed,  and  dosed  with  rue, 

And  fed — and  all  because  of  you : 

We  next" —  Here  Darby  scratched  his  head, 

And  stole  off  grumbling  to  his  bed ; 

And  only  said,  as  on  she  run, 

"Zounds !  woman's  clack  is  never  done." 


II 


At  early  dawn,  ere  Phoebus  rose, 
Old  Joan  resumed  her  tale  of  woes ; 
When  Darby  thus — "I'll  end  the  strife, 
Be  you  the  man  and  I  the  wife : 
Take  you  the  scythe  and  mow,  while  I 
Will  all  your  boasted  cares  supply." 
"Content,"  quoth  Joan,  "give  me  my  stint.3 
This  Darby  did,  and  out  she  went. 
Old  Darby  rose  and  seized  the  broom, 
And  whirled  the  dirt  about  the  room : 
Which  having  done,  he  scarce  knew  how, 
He  hied  to  milk  the  brindled  cow. 
The  brindled  cow  whisked  round  her  tail 
In  Darby's  eyes,  and  kicked  the  pail. 
The  clown,  perplexed  with  grief  and  pain, 
Swore  he'd  ne'er  try  to  milk  again : 
When  turning  round,  in  sad  amaze, 
He  saw  his  cottage  in  a  blaze : 
For  as  he  chanced  to  brush  the  room, 
In  careless  haste,  he  fired  the  broom. 
The  fire  at  last  subdued,  he  swore 
The  broom  and  he  would  meet  no  more. 
Pressed  by  misfortune,  and  perplexed, 
Darby  prepared  for  breakfast  next ; 
167 


DARBY    AND   JOAN 

But  what  to  get  he  scarcely  knew — 
The  bread  was  spent,  the  butter  too. 
His  hands  bedaubed  with  paste  and  flour, 
Old  Darby  labored  full  an  hour  : 
But,  luckless  wight !  thou  couldst  not  make 
The  bread  take  form  of  loaf  or  cake. 
As  every  door  wide  open  stood, 
In  pushed  the  sow  in  quest  of  food ; 
And,  stumbling  onward,  with  her  snout 
O'erset  the  churn — the  cream  ran  put. 
As  Darby  turned,  the  sow  to  beat, 
The  slippery  cream  betrayed  his  feet ; 
He  caught  the  bread  trough  in  his  fall, 
And  down  came  Darby,  trough,  and  all. 
The  children,  wakened  by  the  clatter, 
Start  up,  and  cry,  "Oh !  what's  the  matter  ?" 
Old  Jowler  barked,  and  Tabby  mewed, 
And  hapless  Darby  bawled  aloud, 
"Return,  my  Joan,  as  heretofore, 
I'll  play  the  housewife's  part  no  more : 
Since  now,  by  sad  experience  taught, 
Compared  to  thine  my  work  is  naught ; 
Henceforth,  as  business  calls,  I'll  take, 
Content,  the  plough,  the  scythe,  the  rake, 
And  never  more  transgress  the  line 
Our  fates  have  marked,  while  thou  art  mine. 
Then,  Joan,  return,  as  heretofore, 
I'll  vex  thy  honest  soul  no  more ; 
Let's  each  our  proper  task  attend — 
Forgive  the  past,  and  strive  to  mend." 


1 68 


WHEN  THE  FROST  IS  ON  THE  PUNKIN 

BY   JAMES   WHITCOMB   RILEY 

When  the  frost  is  on  the  punkin  and  the  fodder's  in  the 

shock, 
And  you  hear  the  kyouck  and  gobble  of  the  struttin' 

turkey-cock, 
And  the  clackin'  of  the  guineys,  and  the  cluckin'  of  the 

hens, 
And  the  rooster's  hallelooyer  as  he  tiptoes  on  the  fence, 
Oh,  it's  then's  the  time  a  feller  is  a  feelin'  at  his  best, 
With  the  risin'  sun  to  greet  him  from  a  night  of  gracious 

rest, 
As  he  leaves  the  house  bareheaded  and  goes  out  to  feed 

the  stock, 
When  the  frost  is  on  the  punkin  and  the  fodder's  in  the 

shock. 

There's  sompin  kind  o'  hearty-like  about  the  atmosphere 
When  the  heat  of  summer's  over  and  the  coolin'  fall  is 

here. 
Of  course  we  miss  the  flowers,  and  the  blossoms  on  the 

trees, 
And  the  mumble  of  the  hummin'-birds  and  the  buzzin'  of 

the  bees ; 
But  the  air's  so  appetizin',  and  the  landscape  through  the 

haze 
Of  a  crisp  and  sunny  morning  of  the  early  autumn  days 
Is  a  picture  that  no  painter  has  the  colorin'  to  mock, 
When  the  frost  is  on  the  punkin  and  the  fodder's  in  tke 

shock. 

169 


WHEN    THE    FROST    IS    ON    THE    PUNKIN 

The  husky,  rusty  rustle  of  the  tassels  of  the  corn, 

And  the  raspin'  of  the  tangled  leaves  as  golden  as  the 

morn; 
The  stubble  in  the  furries — kind  o'  lonesome  like,  but  still 
A  preachin'  sermons  to  us  of  the  barns  they  growed  to  fill ; 
The  straw-stack  in  the  medder,  and  the  reaper  in  the  shed, 
The  hosses  in  their  stalls  below,  the  clover  overhead, — 
Oh,  it  sets  my  heart  a  clickin'  like  the  tickin'  of  a  clock, 
When  the  frost  is  on  the  punkin  and  the  fodder's  in  the 

shock. 


1 70 


LAFFING 

BY   JOSH    BILLINGS 

Anatomikally  konsidered,  laffing  iz  the  sensation  ov 
pheeling  good  all  over,  and  showing  it  principally  in  one 
spot. 

Morally  konsidered,  it  iz  the  next  best  thing  tew  the  10 
commandments.     .     .     . 

Theoretikally  konsidered,  it  kan  out-argy  all  the  logik 
in  existence.     .     .     . 

Pyroteknikally  konsidered,  it  is  the  fire-works  of  the 
soul.     .     .     . 

But  i  don't  intend  this  essa  for  laffing  in  the  lump,  but 
for  laffing  on  the  half-shell. 

Laffing  iz  just  az  natral  tew  cum  tew  the  surface  az  a 
rat  iz  tew  cum  out  ov  hiz  hole  when  he  wants  tew. 

Yu  kant  keep  it  back  by  swallowing  enny  more  than  yu 
kan  the  heekups. 

If  a  man  kan't  laff  there  iz  sum  mistake  made  in  putting 
him  together,  and  if  he  won't  laff  he  wants  az  mutch  keep- 
ing away  from  az  a  bear-trap  when  it  iz  sot. 

I  have  seen  people  who  laffed  altogether  too  mutch  for 
their  own  good  or  for  ennyboddy  else's;  they  laft  like  a 
barrell  ov  nu  sider  with  the  tap  pulled  out,  a  perfekt 
stream. 

This  is  a  grate  waste  ov  natral  juice. 

I  have  seen  othe*-  people  who  didn't  laff  enufT  tew  giv 
themselfs  vent;  they  waz  like  a  barrell  ov  nu  sider  too, 
that  waz  bunded  up  tite,  apt  tew  start  a  hoop  and  leak 
all  away  on  the  sly. 

171 


LAFFING 

Thare  ain't  neither  ov  theze  2  ways  right,  and  they 
never  ought  tew  be  pattented.     .     .     . 

Genuine  laffing  iz  the  vent  ov  the  soul,  the  nostrils  of 
the  heart,  and  iz  just  az  necessary  for  health  and  happi- 
ness az  spring  water  iz  for  a  trout. 

Thare  iz  one  kind  ov  a  laff  that  i  always  did  rekom- 
mend ;  it  looks  out  ov  the  eye  fust  with  a  merry  twinkle, 
then  it  kreeps  down  on  its  hands  and  kneze  and  plays 
around  the  mouth  like  a  pretty  moth  around  the  blaze  pv 
a  kandle,  then  it  steals  over  into  the  dimples  ov  the  cheeks 
and  rides  around  into  thoze  little  whirlpools  for  a  while, 
then  it  lites  up  the  whole  face  like  the  mello  bloom  on  a 
damask  roze,  then  it  swims  oph  on  the  air  with  a  peal  az 
klear  and  az  happy  az  a  dinner-bell,  then  it  goes  bak  agin 
on  golden  tiptoze  like  an  angel  out  for  an  airing,  and  laze 
down  on  its  little  bed  ov  violets  in  the  heart  where  it  cum 
from. 

Thare  iz  another  laff  that  nobody  kan  withstand ;  it  iz 
just  az  honest  and  noisy  az  a  distrikt  skool  let  out  tew 
play,  it  shakes  a  man  up  from  hiz  toze  tew  hiz  temples, 
it  dubbles  and  twists  him  like  a  whiskee  phit,  it  lifts  him 
oph  from  his  cheer,  like  feathers,  and  lets  him  bak  agin 
like  melted  led,  it  goes  all  thru  him  like  a  pikpocket,  and 
finally  leaves  him  az  weak  and  az  krazy  az  tho  he  had  bin 
soaking  all  day  in  a  Rushing  bath  and  forgot  to  be  took 
out. 

This  kind  ov  a  laff  belongs  tew  jolly  good  phellows 
who  are  az  healthy  az  quakers,  and  who  are  az  eazy  tew 
pleaze  az  a  gall  who  iz  going  tew  be  married  to-morrow. 

In  konclushion  i  say  laff  every  good  chance  yu  kan  git, 
but  don't  laff  unless  yu  feal  like  it,  for  there  ain't  nothing 
in  this  world  more  harty  than  a  good  honest  laff,  nor 
nothing  more  hollow  than  a  hartless  one. 

When  yu  do  laff  open  yure  mouth  wide  enuff  for  the 

172 


JOSH    BILLINGS 

noize  tew  git  out  without  squealing,  thro  yure  hed  bak 
az  tho  yu  waz  going  tew  be  shaved,  hold  on  tew  yure 
false  hair  with  both  hands  and  then  laff  till  yure  soul  gets 
thoroly  rested. 

But  i  shall  tell  yu  more  about  theze  things  at  sum 
fewter  time. 


173 


GRIZZLY-GRU 

BY    IRONQUILL 

0  Thoughts  of  the  past  and  present, 
O  whither,  and  whence,  and  where, 

Demanded  my  soul,  as  I  scaled  the  height 
Of  the  pine-clad  peak  in  the  somber  night, 
In  the  terebinthine  air. 

While  pondering  on  the  frailty 

Of  happiness,  hope,  and  mirth, 

The  ascending  sun  with  derisive  scoff 
Hurled  its  golden  lances  and  smote  me  pff 

From  the  bulge  of  the  restless  earth. 

Through  the  yellowish  dawn  of  velvet 
Where  stars  were  so  thickly  strewn, 

That  quietly  chuckled  as  I  passed  through, 

1  fell  in  the  gardens  of  Grizzly-Gru, 
On  the  mad,  mysterious  moon. 

I  fell  on  the  turquoise  ether, 

Low  down  in  the  wondrous  west, 

And  thence  to  the  moon  in  whose  yielding  blue 
Were  hidden  the  gardens  of  Grizzly-Gru, 

In  the  Monarchy  of  Unrest. 

And  there  were  the  fairy  gardens, 

Where  beautiful  cherubs  grew 

In  daintiest  way  and  on  separate  stalks, 
In  the  listed  rows  by  the  jasper  walks, 

Near  the  palace  of  Grizzly-Gru. 

?74 


IRONQUILL 

While  strolling  around  the  garden 

I  noticed  the  rows  were  full 

Of  every  conceivable  size  and  type — 
Some  that  were  buds,  and  some  nearly  ripe, 

And  some  that  were  ready  to  pull. 

In  gauzy  and  white  corolla, 

Was  one  who  had  eyes  of  blue, 
A  little  excuse  of  a  baby  nose, 
Little  pink  ears,  and  ten  little  toes, 

And  a  mouth  that  kept  saying  ah-goo. 

Ah-gooing  as  I  came  near  her, 

She  raised  up  her  arms  in  glee — 

Her  little  fat  arms — and  she  seemed  to  say, 
"I'm  ready  to  go  with  you  right  away ; 

Don't  hunt  any  more — take  me." 

I  picked  her  off  quick  and  kissed  her, 

And,  hugging  her  to  my  breast, 

I  heard  a  loud  yelling  that  pierced  me  through, 
'Twas  His  Terrible  Eminence,  Grizzly-Gru, 

Of  the  Monarchy  of  Unrest. 

He  had  on  a  blood-red  turban, 

A  picturesque  lot  of  clothes, 

With  big  moustaches  both  fierce  and  black, 
And  a  ghastly  saber  to  cut  and  hack, 

And  shoes  that  turned  up  at  the  toes. 

Out  of  the  gate  of  the  garden 

The  cherub  and  I  took  flight, 

And  closely  behind  us  the  saber  flew, 
And  back  of  the  saber  came  Grizzly-Gru, 

And  he  chased  us  all  day  till  night. 

*75 


GRIZZLY-GRU 

I  ran  down  the  lunar  crescent, 

And  out  on  the  silver  horn ; 

I  kissed  the  baby  and  held  her  tight, 
And  jumped  down  into  the  starry  night, 

And — I  lit  on  the  earth  at  morn. 

He  fitfully  threw  his  saber, 

It  missed  and  went  round  the  sun; 

He  followed  no  further,  he  was  not  rash. 
But  the  baby  held  on  to  my  coarse  moustache. 

And  seemed  to  enjoy  the  fun. 

In  saving  that  blue-eyed  baby 
From  the  gardens  of  Grizzly-Gru, 

I  suffered  a  terrible  shock  and  fright ; 

But  the  doctor  believes  it  will  be  all  right, 
And  he  thinks  he  can  pull  me  through. 


176 


JOHN  HENRY  IN  A  STREET  CAR 

BY  HUGH  McHUGH 

Throw  me  in  the  cellar  and  batten  down  the  hatches. 

I'm  a  wreck  in  the  key  of  G  flat. 

I  side-stepped  in  among  a  bunch  of  language-heavers 
yesterday  and  ever  since  I've  been  sitting  on  the  ragged 
edge  with  my  feet  hanging  over. 

I  was  on  my  way  down  to  Wall  Street  to  help  J.  Pier- 
pont  Morgan  buy  a  couple  of  railroads  and  all  the  world 
seemed  as  blithe  and  gay  as  a  love  clinch  from  Laura 
Jean  Libbey's  latest. 

When  I  climbed  into  the  cable-car  I  felt  like  a  man 
who  had  mailed  money  to  himself  the  night  before. 

I  was  aces. 

And  then  somebody  blew  out  my  gas. 

At  the  next  corner  two  society  flash-lights  flopped  in 
and  sat  next  to  me. 

They  had  a  lot  of  words  they  wanted  to  use  and  they 
started  in. 

The  car  stopped  and  two  more  of  the  400,s  leading 
ladies  jumped  the  hurdles  and  came  down  the  aisle. 

They  sat  on  the  other  side  of  me. 

In  a  minute  they  began  to  bite  the  dictionary. 

Their  efforts  aroused  the  energies  of  three  women  who 
sat  opposite  me,  and  they  proceeded  to  beat  the  English 
language  black  and  blue. 

In  a  minute  the  air  was  so  full  of  talk  that  the  grip 
germs  had  to  pull  out  on  the  platform  and  chew  the  con- 
ductor. 

177 


JOHN    HENRY    IN    A    STREET    CAR 

The  next  one  to  me  on  my  left  started  in : 

"Oh,  yes ;  we  discharged  our  cook  day  before  yesterday, 
but  there's  another  coming  this  evening,  and  so — " 

Her  friend  broke  away  and  was  up  and  back  to  the 
center  with  this : 

"I  was  coming  down  Broadway  this  morning  and  I 
saw  Julia  Marlowe's  leading  man.  I'm  sure  it  was  him, 
because  I  saw  the  show  once  in  Chicago  and  he  has  the 
loveliest  eyes  I  ever  looked  at  !" 

I  knew  that  that  was  my  cue  to  walk  out,  kick  the 
motorman  in  the  knuckles,  upset  the  car  and  send  in  a  fire 
call,  but  I  passed  it  up. 

I  just  sat  there  and  bit  my  nails  like  the  heavy  villain 
in  one  of  Corse  Payton's  ten,  twen,  thir  dramas. 

That  "loveliest  eyes"  speech  had  me  groggy. 

Whenever  I  hear  a  woman  turn  on  that  "loveliest  eyes" 
gag  about  an  actor  I  always  feel  that  a  swift  slap  from  a 
wet  dish-rag  would  look  well  on  her  back  hair. 

Then  the  bunch  across  the  aisle  got  the  flag. 

"Well,  you  know,"  says  the  broad  lady  who  paid  for 
one  seat  and  was  compelled  by  Nature  to  use  three,  "you 
know  there's  only  five  in  our  family,  and  so  I  take  just 
five  slices  of  stale  bread  and  have  a  bowl  of  water  ready 
in  which  I've  dropped  a  pinch  of  salt.  Then  I  take  a 
piece  of  butter  about  the  size  of  a  walnut,  and  thoroughly 
grease  the  bottom  of  a  frying-pan ;  then  beat  five  eggs  to 
a  froth,  and — " 

I'm  hoping  the  conductor  will  come  in  and  give  us  all 
a  tip  to  take  to  the  timber  because  the  cops  are  going  to 
pinch  the  room,  but  there's  nothing  doing. 

One  of  the  dames  on  my  right  finds  her  voice  and  passes 
it  around : — 

"Oh,  I  think  it's  a  perfect  fright!  I  always  did  detest 
electric  blue,  anyway.  It  is  so  unbecoming,  and  then — " 

i78 


HUGH    McHUGH 

I've  just  decided  that  this  lady  ought  to  make  up  as  a 
Swede  servant  girl  and  play  the  part,  when  her  friend 
hooks  in : 

"Oh,  yes ;  I  think  it  will  look  perfectly  sweet !  It  is  a 
foulard  in  one  of  those  new  heliotrope  tints,  made  with  a 
crepe  de  chine  chemisette,  with  a  second  vest  peeping  out 
on  either  side  of  the  front  over  an  embroidered  satin  vest 
and  cut  in  scallops  on  the  edge,  finished  with  a  full  ruche 
of  white  chiffon,  and  the  sleeves  are  just  too  tight  for  any 
use,  and  the  skirt  is  too  long  for  any  good,  and  I  declare 
the  lining  is  too  sweet !  and  I  just  hate  to  wear  it  out  on 
the  street  and  get  it  soiled,  and  I  was  going  to  have  it 
made  with  a  tunic,  and  Mrs.  Wigwag — that's  my  brother- 
in-law's  first  cousin — she  had  her's  made  to  wear  with 
guimpes — and  they  are  so  economical !  and — " 

Think  of  a  guy  having  to  ride  four  miles  and  get  his 
forehead  fanned  all  the  while  with  talk  about  foulard  and 
crepe  de  chine  and  guimpes ! 

Wouldn't  it  lead  you  to  a  padded  cell  ? 

Say !  I  was  down  and  out — no  kidding ! 

I  wanted  to  get  up  and  fight  the  door-tender,  but  I 
couldn't. 

One  of  the  conversationalists  was  sitting  on  my  over- 
coat. 

I  felt  that  if  I  got  up  and  called  my  coat  back  to  Papa 
she  might  lose  the  thread  of  her  story,  and  the  jar  would 
be  something  frightful. 

So  I  sat  still  and  saved  her  life. 

The  one  on  my  right  must  have  been  the  Lady  Presi- 
dent of  The  Hammer  Club. 

She  was  talking  about  some  other  girl  and  she  didn't 
do  a  thing  to  the  absent  one. 

She  said  she  was  svelte. 

I  suppose  that's  Dago  for  a  shine. 

179 


JOHN   HENRY   IN   A    STREET    CAR 

That's  the  way  with  some  women.  They  can't  come 
right  out  and  call  another  woman  a  polish.  They  have  to 
beat  around  the  bush  and  chase  their  friends  to  the 
swamps  by  throwing  things  like  "svelte"  at  them.  Tush ! 

I  tried  to  duck  the  foreign  tattle  on  my  right  and  by 
so  doing  I'm  next  to  this  on  my  left : 

"Oh,  yes;  I  think  politics  is  just  too  lovely!  I  don't 
know  whether  I'd  rather  be  a  Democrat  or  a  Republican, 
but  I  think — oh !  just  look  at  the  hat  that  woman  has  on ! 
Isn't  that  a  fright  ?  Wonder  if  she  trimmed  it  herself.  Of 
course  she  did ;  you  can  tell  by — " 

I'm  gasping  for  breath  when  the  broad  lady  across  the 
aisle  gets  the  floor : 

"No,  indeed!  I  didn't  have  Eliza  vaccinated.  Why, 
she's  too  small  yet,  and  don't  you  know  my  sister's  hus- 
band's brother's  child  was  vaccinated,  and  she  is  younger 
than  our  Eliza,  but  I  don't  just  care,  I  don't  want — " 

Then  the  sweet  girlish  thing  on  my  left  gave  me  the 
corkscrew  jab. 

It  was  the  finish: 

"Isn't  that  lovely  ?  Well,  as  I  was  telling  you,  Charlie 
came  last  night  and  brought  Mr.  Storeclose  with  him. 
Mr.  Storeclose  is  awfully  nice.  He  plays  the  mandolin 
just  too  sweet  for  anything,  and — " 

Me ! — to  the  oyster  beds !  No  male  impersonators  gar- 
roting  a  mandolin — not  any  in  mine ! 

When  I  want  to  take  a  course  in  music  I'll  climb  into 
a  public  library  and  read  how  Baldy  Sloane  wrote  the 
Tiger  Lily  with  one  hand  tied  behind  him  and  his  feet  on 
the  piano. 

So  I  fell  off  the  car  and  crawled  home  to  mother. 


180 


THE  MUSKEETER 

BY    JOSH    BILLINGS 

Muskeeters  are  a  game  bug,  but  they  won't  bite  at  a 
hook.  Thare  iz  millyuns  ov  them  kaught  every  year,  but 
not  with  a  hook,  this  makes  the  market  for  them  unstiddy, 
the  supply  allways  exceeding  the  demand.  The  muskeeto 
iz  born  on  the  sly,  and  cums  to  maturity  quicker  than 
enny  other  ov  the  domestik  animiles.  A  muskeeter  at  3 
hours  old  iz  just  az  reddy  and  anxious  to  go  into  bizz- 
ness  for  himself,  az  ever  he  iz,  and  bites  the  fust  time  az 
sharp,  and  natral,  as  red  pepper  duz.  The  muskeeter  haz 
a  good  ear  for  musik,  and  sings  without  notes.  The  song 
pv  the  muskeeto  iz  monotonous  to  sum  folks,  but  in  me  it 
stirs  up  the  memorys  ov  other  days.  I  hav  lade  awake, 
all  nite  long,  menny  a  time  and  listened  to  the  sweet 
anthems  ov  the  muskeeter.  I  am  satisfied  that  thare  want 
nothing  made  in  vain,  but  i  kant  help  thinking  how 
mighty  kluss  the  musketoze  kum  to  it.  The  muskeeter 
haz  inhabited  this  world  since  its  kreashun,  and  will  prob- 
ably hang  around  here  until  bizzness  closes.  Whare  the 
muskeeter  goes  to  in  the  winter  iz  a  standing  konumdrum, 
which  all  the  naturalists  hav  giv  up,  but  we  kno  he  dont 
go  far,  for  he  iz  on  hand  early  each  year  with  hiz  probe 
fresh  ground,  and  polished.  Muskeeters  must  be  one  ov 
the  luxurys  ov  life,  they  certainly  aint  one  ov  the  neces- 
sarys,  not  if  we  kno  ourselfs.- 


181 


THE  TURNINGS  OF  A  BOOKWORM 

BY    CAROLYN    WELLS 

Love  levels  all  plots. 
Dead  men  sell  no  tales. 
A  new  boom  sweeps  clean. 
Circumstances  alter  bookcases. 
The  more  haste  the  less  read. 
Too  many  books  spoil  the  trade. 
Many  hands  make  light  literature. 
Epigrams  cover  a  multitude  of  sins. 
Ye  can  not  serve  Art  and  Mammon. 
A  little  sequel  is  a  dangerous  thing. 
It's  a  long  page  that  has  no  turning. 
Don't  look  a  gift-book  in  the  binding. 
A  gilt-edged  volume  needs  no  accuser. 
In  a  multitude  of  characters  there  is  safety. 
Incidents  will  happen  even  in  the  best  regulated  novels. 
One  touch  of  Nature  makes  the  whole  book  sell. 
Where  there's  a  will  there's  a  detective  story. 
A  book  in  the  hand  is  worth  two  in  the  library. 
An  ounce  of  invention  is  worth  a  pound  of  style. 
A  good  name  is  rather  to  be  chosen  than  great  charac- 
ters. 

Where  there's  so  much  puff,  there  must  be  some  buyer. 


182 


THE  FEAST  OF  THE  MONKEYS 

BY    JOHN    PHILIP    SOUSA 

In  days  of  old, 

So  I've  been  told, 

The  monkeys  gave  a  feast. 

They  sent  out  cards, 

With  kind  regards, 

To  every  bird  and  beast. 

The  guests  came  dressed, 

In  fashion's  best, 

Unmindful  of  expense; 

Except  the  whale, 

Whose  swallowtail, 

Was  "soaked"  for  fifty  cents. 

The  guests  checked  wraps, 
Canes,  hats  and  caps ; 
And  when  that  task  was  done, 
The  footman  he 
With  dignitee, 

Announced  them  one  by  one. 
In  Monkey,  Hall, 
The  host  met  all, 
And  hoped  they'd  feel  at  ease, 
"I  scarcely  can," 
Said  the  Black  and  Tan, 
'Tm  busy  hunting  fleas." 
183 

Vol.   1—14  ° 


THE    FEAST    OF    THE    MONKEYS 

"While  waiting  for 

A  score  or  more 

Of  guests,"  the  hostess  said, 

"We'll  have  the  Poodle 

Sing  Yankee  Doodle, 

A-standing  on  his  head. 

And  when  this  through, 

Good  Parrot,  you, 

Please  show  them  how  you  swear." 

"Oh,  dear ;  don't  cuss," 

Cried  the  Octopus, 

And  he  walked  off  on  his  ear. 

The  Orang-Outang 

A  sea-song  sang, 

About  a  Chimpanzee 

Who  went  abroad, 

In  a  drinking  gourd, 

To  the  coast  of  Barberee. 

Where  he  heard  one  night, 

When  the  moon  shone  bright, 

A  school  of  mermaids  pick 

Chromatic  scales 

From  off  their  tails, 

And  did  it  mighty  slick. 

"All  guests  are  here, 

To  eat  the  cheer, 

And  dinner's  served,  my  Lord." 

The  butler  bowed ; 

And  then  the  crowd 

Rushed  in  with  one  accord. 

The  fiddler-crab 

Came  in  a  cab, 

184 


JOHN    PHILIP    SOUSA 

And  played  a  piece  in  C ; 

While  on  his  horn, 

The  Unicorn 

Blew,  You'll  Remember  Me, 

"To  give  a  touch 

Of  early  Dutch 

To  this  great  feast  of  feasts, 

I'll  drink  ten  drops 

Of  Holland's  schnapps," 

Spoke  out  the  King  of  Beasts. 

"That  must  taste  fine," 

Said  the  Porcupine, 

"Did  you  see  him  smack  his  lip?" 

"I'd  smack  mine,  too," 

Cried  the  Kangaroo, 

"If  I  didn't  have  the  pip." 

The  Lion  stood, 

And  said :    "Be  good 

Enough  to  look  this  way ; 

Court  Etiquette 

Do  not  forget, 

And  mark  well  what  I  say : 

My  royal  wish 

Is  ev'ry  dish 

Be  tasted  first  by  me." 

"Here's  where  I  smile," 

Said  the  Crocodile, 

And  he  climbed  an  axle-tree. 

The  soup  was  brought, 
And  quick  as  thought, 
The  Lion  ate  it  all. 

18s 


THE    FEAST    OF   THE    MONKEYS 

"You  can't  beat  that," 

Exclaimed  the  Cat, 

"For  monumental  gall." 

"The  soup,"  all  cried. 

"Gone,"  Leo  replied, 

"  'Twas  just  a  bit  too  thick." 

"When  we  get  through," 

Remarked  the  Gnu, 

"I'll  hit  him  with  a  brick." 

The  Tiger  stepped, 

Or,  rather,  crept, 

Up  where  the  Lion  sat. 

"O,  mighty  boss 

I'm  at  a  loss 

To  know  where  I  am  at 

I  came  to-night 

With  appetite 

To  drink  and  also  eat ; 

As  a  Tiger  grand, 

I  now  demand, 

I  get  there  with  both  feet."* 

The  Lion  got 
All-fired  hot 
And  in  a  passion  flew. 
"Get  out,"  he  cried, 
"And  save  your  hide, 
You  most  offensive  You." 
"I'm  not  afraid," 
The  Tiger  said, 
"I  know  what  I'm  about." 
But  the  Lion's  paw 
Reached  the  Tiger's  jaw, 
And  he  was  good  and  out. 
1 86 


JOHN    PHILIP    SOUSA 

The  salt-sea  smell 

Of  Mackerel, 

Upon  the  air  arose ; 

Each  hungry  guest 

Great  joy  expressed, 

And  "sniff!"  went  every  nose. 

With  glutton  look 

The  Lion  took 

The  spiced  and  sav'ry  dish. 

Without  a  pause 

He  worked  his  jaws, 

And  gobbled  all  the  fish. 

Then  ate  the  roast, 

The  quail  on  toast, 

The  pork,  both  fat  and  lean ; 

The  jam  and  lamb, 

The  potted  ham, 

And  drank  the  kerosene. 

He  raised  his  voice : 

"Come,  all  rejoice, 

You've  seen  your  monarch  dine." 

"Never  again," 

Clucked  the  Hen, 

And  all  sang  Old  Lang  Syne. 


187 


THE  BILLVILLE  SPIRIT  MEETING 

BY  FRANK  L.  STANTON 

We  had  a  sperrit  meetin'  (we'll  never  have  no  more!) 
To  call  up  all  the  sperrits  of  them  that's  "gone  before." 
A  feller  called  a  "medium"  (he  wuz  of  medium  size), 
Took  the  contract  fer  the  fetchin'  o'  them  sperrits  from  the 
skies. 

The  mayor — the  town  council — the  parson  an'  his  wife, 
Come  to  shake  han's  with  them  sperrits  what  had  left  the 

other  life; 
The  Colonel  an'  the  Major — the  coroner,  an'  all 
Wuz  waitin'  an'  debatin'  in  the  darkness  o'  the  hall. 

The  medium  roared,  "Silence!  Amanda  Jones  appears! 
Is  her  husband  present?"    ("No,  sir — he's  been  restin' 

twenty  years!") 
"Here's  the  ghost  of  Sally  Spilkins,  from  the  Ian'  whar' 

glories  glow : 
Would  her  husband  like  to  see  her?"    (An'  a  feeble  voice 

said,  "No!") 

"Here's  the  wife  of  Colonel  Buster;  she  wears  a  heavenly 

smile : 
She  wants  to  see  the  Colonel,  an'  she's  comin'  down  the 

aisle!" 
Then  all  wuz  wild  confusion — it  warn't  a  bit  o'  fun ! — 
With  "Lord,  have  mercy  on  me,"  the  Colonel  broke  an' 

run! 

1 88 


FRANK  L.  STANTON 

Then  the  coroner  got  skeery  an*  scampered  fer  his  life! 

"Stop — stop  him !"  said  the  medium ;  "here  comes  his  sec- 
ond wife !" 

But  thar'  warn't  a  man  could  stop  him  in  that  whole 
blame  settlement, — 

He  turned  a  double  summersault  an'  out  the  winder 
went! 

Then,  the  whole  town  council  follered  an'  hollered  all  the 

way; 
The  parson  said  he  had  a  call  'bout  ten  miles  off,  to  pray ! 
He  didn't  preach  nex'  Sunday,  an'  they  tell  it  roun'  a  bit, 
Accordin'  to  the  best  reports  the  parson's  runnin'  yit ! 


Vol.  1—14 


i8q 


A  CRY  FROM  THE  CONSUMER 

BY    WILBUR  D.    NESBIT 

Grasshoppers  roam  the  Kansas  fields  and  eat  the  tender 

grass — 
A  trivial  affair,  indeed,  but  what  then  comes  to  pass? 
You  go  to  buy  a  panama,  or  any  other  hat ; 
You  learn  the  price  has  been  advanced  a  lot  because  of 

that. 
A  glacier  up  in  Canada  has  slipped  a  mile  or  two — 
A  little  thing  like  this  can  boost  the  selling  price  of  glue. 
Occurrences  so  tragic  always  thrill  me  to  the  core; 
I  hope  and  pray  that  nothing  ever  happens  any  more. 

Last  week  the  peaceful  Indians  went  a-searching  after 

scalps, 
And  then  there  was  an  avalanche  'way  over  in  the  Alps ; 
These   diametric   happenings   seem   nothing  much,   but 

look — 
We  had  to  add  a  dollar  to  the  wages  of  the  cook. 
The  bean-crop  down  at  Boston  has  grown  measurably 

less, 
And  so  the  dealer  charges  more  for  goods  to  make  a 

dress. 
Each  day  there  is  some  incident  to  make  a  man  feel  sore, 
I'm  on  my  knees  to  ask  that  nothing  happens  any  more. 

It  didn't  rain  in  Utah  and  it  did  in  old  Vermont — 
Result :  it  costs  you  fifty  more  to  take  a  summer's  jaunt ; 
Upon  the  plains  of  Tibet  some  tornadoes  took  a  roll — 
Therefore  the  barons  have  to  charge  a  higher  price  for 
coal. 

190 


WILBUR    D.    NESBIT 

A  street-car  strike  in  Omaha  has  cumulative  shocks — 
It  boosted  huckleberries  up  to  twenty  cents  a  box. 
No  matter  what  is  happening  it  always  finds  your  door — • 
Give  us  a  rest !  Let  nothing  ever  happen  any  more. 

Mosquitoes  in  New  Jersey  bite  a  magnate  on  the  wing — 

Result:  the  poor  consumer  feels  that  fierce  mosquito's 
sting: 

The  skeeter's  song  is  silenced,  but  in  something  like  an 
hour 

The  grocers  understand  that  it  requires  a  raise  in  flour. 

A  house  burns  down  in  Texas  and  a  stove  blows  up  in 
Maine, 

Ten  minutes  later  breakfast  foods  in  prices  show  a  gain. 

Effects  must  follow  causes — which  is  what  I  most  de- 
plore ; 

I  hope  and  pray  that  nothing  ever  happens  any  more. 


A  DISAPPOINTMENT 

BY   JOHN    BOYLE   O'REILLY 

Her  hair  was  a  waving  bronze,  and  her  eyes 
Deep  wells  that  might  cover  a  brooding  soul ; 

And  who,  till  he  weighed  it,  could  ever  surmise 
That  her  heart  was  a  cinder  instead  of  a  coal ! 


191 


THE  BRITISH  MATRON 

BY    NATHANIEL    HAWTHORNE 

I  have  heard  a  good  deal  of  the  tenacity  with  which 
English  ladies  retain  their  personal  beauty  to  a  late  period 
of  life;  but  (not  to  suggest  that  an  American  eye  needs 
use  and  cultivation,  before  it  can  quite  appreciate  the 
charm  of  English  beauty  at  any  age)  it  strikes  me  that 
an  English  lady  of  fifty  is  apt  to  become  a  creature  less 
refined  and  delicate,  so  far  as  her  physique  goes,  than  any- 
thing that  we  Western  people  class  under  the  name  of 
woman.  She  has  an  awful  ponderosity  of  frame,  not 
pulpy,  like  the  looser  development  of  our  few  fat  women, 
but  massive  with  solid  beef  and  streaky  tallow;  so  that 
(though  struggling  manfully  against  the  idea)  you  in- 
evitably think  of  her  as  made  up  of  steaks  and  sirloins. 
When  she  walks,  her  advance  is  elephantine.  When 
she  sits  down  it  is  on  a  great  round  space  of  her  Maker's 
footstool,  where  she  looks  as  if  nothing  could  ever 
move  her.  She  imposes  awe  and  respect  by  the  muchness 
of  her  personality,  to  such  a  degree  that  you  probably 
credit  her  with  far  greater  moral  and  intellectual .  force 
than  she  can  fairly  claim.  Her  visage  is  usually^grim 
and  stern,  seldom  positively  forbidding,  yet  calmly  ter- 
rible, not  merely  by  its  breadth  and  weight  of  feature, 
but  because  it  seems  to  express  so  much  well-defined  self- 
reliance,  such  acquaintance  with  the  world,  its  toils, 
troubles,  and  dangers,  and  such  sturdy  capacity  for  tram- 
pling down  a  foe.     Without  anything  positively  salient, 

192 


NATHANIEL    HAWTHORNE 

or  actively  offensive,  or,  indeed,  unjustly  formidable  to 
her  neighbors,  she  has  the  effect  of  a  seventy- four-gun 
ship  in  time  of  peace;  for,  while  you  assure  yourself  that 
there  is  no  real  danger,  you  can  not  help  thinking  how 
tremendous  would  be  her  onset,  if  pugnaciously  inclined, 
and  how  futile  the  effort  to  inflict  any  counter-injury. 
She  certainly  looks  tenfold — nay,  a  hundredfold — better 
able  to  take  care  of  herself  than  our  slender- framed  and 
haggard  womankind ;  but  I  have  not  found  reason  to  sup- 
pose that  the  English  dowager  of  fifty  has  actually  greater 
courage,  fortitude,  and  strength  of  character  than  our 
women  of  similar  age,  or  even  a  tougher  physical  en- 
durance than  they.  Morally,  she  is  strong,  I  suspect, 
only  in  society,  and  in  the  common  routine  of  social  af- 
fairs, and  would  be  found  powerless  and  timid  in  any  ex- 
ceptional strait  that  might  call  for  energy  outside  of  the 
conventionalities  amid  which  she  has  grown  up. 

You  can  meet  this  figure  in  the  street,  and  live,  and 
even  smile  at  the  recollection.  But  conceive  of  her  in  a 
ball-room,  with  the  bare,  brawny  arms  that  she  invariably 
displays  there,  and  all  the  other  corresponding  develop- 
ment, such  as  is  beautiful  in  the  maiden  blossom,  but  a 
spectacle  to  howl  at  in  such  an  over-blown  cabbage-rose 
as  this. 

Yet,  somewhere  in  this  enormous  bulk  there  must  be 
hidden  the  modest,  slender,  violet-nature  of  a  girl,  whom 
an  alien  mass  of  earthliness  has  unkindly  overgrown ;  for 
an  English  maiden  in  her  teens,  though  very  seldom  so 
pretty  as  our  own  damsels,  possesses,  to  say  the  truth,  a 
certain  charm  of  half-blossom,  and  delicately  folded 
leaves,  and  tender  womanhood,  shielded  by  maidenly  re- 
serves, with  which,  somehow  or  other,  our  American 
girls  often  fail  to  adorn  themselves  during  an  appreciable 
moment.    It  is  a  pity  that  the  English  violet  should  grow 

193 


THE    BRITISH    MATRON 

into  such  an  outrageously  developed  peony  as  I  have  at- 
tempted to  describe.  I  wonder  whether  a  middle-aged 
husband  ought  to  be  considered  as  legally  married  to  all 
the  accretions  that  have  overgrown  the  slenderness  of  his 
bride,  since  he  led  her  to  the  altar,  and  which  make  her 
so  much  more  than  he  ever  bargained  for!  Is  it  not  a 
sounder  view  of  the  case,  that  the  matrimonial  bond  can 
not  be  held  to  include  the  three- fourths  of  the  wife  that 
had  no  existence  when  the  ceremony  was  performed? 
And  as  a  matter  of  conscience  and  good  morals,  ought 
not  an  English  married  pair  to  insist  upon  the  celebration 
of  a  silver  wedding  at  the  end  of  twenty-five  years  in 
order  to  legalize  and  mutually  appropriate  that  corporeal 
growth  of  which  both  parties  have  individually  come  into 
possession  since  they  were  pronounced  one  flesh  ? 


THE  TRAGEDY  OF  IT 

BY    ALDEN    CHARLES    NOBLE 

Alas  for  him,  alas  for  it, 

Alas  for  you  and  I ! 
When  this  I  think  I  raise  my  mitt 

To  dry  my  weeping  eye. 


194 


STAGE  WHISPERS 

BY    CAROLYN    WELLS 

Deadheads  tell  no  tales. 
Stars  are  stubborn  things. 
All's  not  bold  that  titters. 
Contracts  make  cowards  of  us  all. 
One  good  turn  deserves  an  encore. 
A  little  actress  is  a  dangerous  thing. 
It's  a  long  skirt  that  has  no  turning. 
Stars  rush  in  where  angels  fear  to  tread. 
Managers  never  hear  any  good  of  themselves. 
A  manager  is  known  by  the  company  he  keeps. 
A  plot  is  not  without  honor  save  in  comic  opera. 
Take  care  of  the  dance  and  the  songs  will  take  care  of 
themselves. 


195 


THE  PETTIBONE  LINEAGE 

BY  JAMES  T.    FIELDS 

My  name  is  Esek  Pettibone,  and  I  wish  to  affirm  in 
the  outset  that  it  is  a  good  thing  to  be  well-born.  In  thus 
connecting  the  mention  of  my  name  with  a  positive  state- 
ment, I  am  not  aware  that  a  catastrophe  lies  coiled  up  in 
the  juxtaposition.  But  I  can  not  help  writing  plainly  that 
I  am  still  in  favor  of  a  distinguished  family-tree.  Esto 
perpetua!  To  have  had  somebody  for  a  great-grand- 
father that  was  somebody  is  exciting.  To  be  able  to 
look  back  on  long  lines  of  ancestry  that  were  rich,  but 
respectable,  seems  decorous  and  all  right.  The  present 
Earl  of  Warwick,  I  think,  must  have  an  idea  that  strict 
justice  has  been  done  him  in  the  way  of  being  launched 
properly  into  the  world.  I  saw  the  Duke  of  Newcastle 
once,  and  as  the  farmer  in  Conway  described  Mount 
Washington,  I  thought  the  Duke  felt  a  propensity  to 
"hunch  up  some."  Somehow  it  is  pleasant  to  dook  down 
on  the  crowd  and  have  a  conscious  right  to  do  so. 

Left  an  orphan  at  the  tender  age  of  four  years,  having 
no  brothers  or  sisters  to  prop  me  round  with  young  affec- 
tions and  sympathies,  I  fell  into  three  pairs  of  hands,  ex- 
cellent in  their  way,  but  peculiar.  Patience,  Eunice,  and 
Mary  Ann  Pettibone  were  my  aunts  on  my  father's  side. 
All  my  mother's  relations  kept  shady  when  the  lonely 
orphan  looked  about  for  protection;  but  Patience  Petti- 
bone, in  her  stately  way,  said, — "The  boy  belongs  to  a 
good  family,  and  he  shall  never  want  while  his  three 

196 


JAMES  T.  FIELDS 

aunts  can  support  him."  So  I  went  to  live  with  my 
plain,  but  benignant  protectors,  in  the  state  of  New 
Hampshire. 

During  my  boyhood  the  best-drilled  lesson  that  fell  to 
my  keeping  was  this:  "Respect  yourself.  We  come  of 
more  than  ordinary  parentage.  Superior  blood  was  prob- 
ably concerned  in  getting  up  the  Pettibones.  Hold  your 
head  erect,  and  some  day  you  shall  have  proof  of  your 
high  lineage." 

I  remember  once,  on  being  told  that  I  must  not  share 
my  juvenile  sports  with  the  butcher's  three  little  beings, 
I  begged  to  know  why  not.  Aunt  Eunice  looked  at  Pa- 
tience, and  Mary  Ann  knew  what  she  meant. 

"My  child,"  slowly  murmured  the  eldest  sister,  "our 
family,  no  doubt,  came  of  a  very  old  stock ;  perhaps  we 
belong  to  the  nobility.  Our  ancestors,  it  is  thought,  came 
over  laden  with  honors,  and  no  doubt  were  embarrassed 
with  riches,  though  the  latter  importation  has  dwindled 
in  the  lapse  of  years.  Respect  yourself,  and  when  you 
grow  up  you  will  not  regret  that  your  old  and  careful 
aunt  did  not  wish  you  to  play  with  the  butcher's  off- 
spring." 

I  felt  mortified  that  I  ever  had  a  desire  to  "knuckle 
up"  with  any  but  kings'  sons,  or  sultans'  little  boys.  I 
longed  to  be  among  my  equals  in  the  urchin  line,  and  fly 
my  kite  with  only  high-born  youngsters. 

Thus  I  lived  in  a  constant  scene  of  self-enchantment 
on  the  part  of  the  sisters,  who  assumed  all  the  port  and 
feeling  that  properly  belonged  to  ladies  of  quality.  Patri- 
monial splendor  to  come  danced  before  their  dim  eyes; 
and  handsome  settlements,  gay  equipages,  and  a  general 
grandeur  of  some  sort  loomed  up  in  the  future  for  the 
American  branch  of  the  House  of  Pettibone. 

It  was  a  life  of  opulent  self-delusion,  which  my  aunts 

197 


THE    PETTIBONE   LINEAGE 

were  never  tired  of  nursing;  and  I  was  too  young  to 
doubt  the  reality  of  it.  All  the  members  of  our  little 
household  held  up  their  heads,  as  if  each  said,  in  so  many 
words,  "There  is  no  original  sin  in  our  composition, 
whatever  of  that  commodity  there  may  be  mixed  up  with 
the  common  clay  of  Snowborough." 

Aunt  Patience  was  a  star,  and  dwelt  apart.  Aunt 
Eunice  looked  at  her  through  a  determined  pair  of  specta- 
cles, and  worshiped  while  she  gazed.  The  youngest 
sister  lived  in  a  dreamy  state  of  honors  to  come,  and  had 
constant  zoological  visions  of  lions,  griffins,  and  unicorns, 
drawn  and  quartered  in  every  possible  style  known  to  the 
Heralds'  College.  The  Reverend  Hebrew  Bullet,  who 
used  to  drop  in  quite  often  and  drink  several  compulsory 
glasses  of  home-made  wine,  encouraged  his  three  par- 
ishoners  in  their  aristocratic  notions,  and  extolled  them 
for  what  he  called  their  "stooping-down  to  every-day 
life."  He  differed  with  the  ladies  of  our  house  only  on 
one  point.  He  contended  that  the  unicorn  of  the  Bible 
and  the  rhinoceros  of  to-day  were  one  and  the  same  ani- 
mal.  My  aunts  held  a  different  opinion. 

In  the  sleeping-room  of  my  Aunt  Patience  reposed  a 
trunk.  Often  during  my  childish  years  I  longed  to  lift 
the  lid  and  spy  among  its  contents  the  treasures  my  young 
fancy  conjured  up  as  lying  there  in  state.  I  dared  not 
ask  to  have  the  cover  raised  for  my  gratification,  as  I 
had  often  been  told  I  was  "too  little"  to  estimate  aright 
what  that  armorial  box  contained.  "When  you  grow  up, 
you  shall  see  the  inside  of  it,"  Aunt  Mary  used  to  say  to 
me;  and  so  I  wondered,  and  wished,  but  all  in  vain.  I 
must  have  the  virtue  of  years  before  I  could  view  the 
treasures  of  past  magnificence  so  long  entombed  in  that 
wooden  sarcophagus.  Once  I  saw  the  faded  sisters  bend- 
ing over  the  trunk  together,  and,  as  I  thought,  embalm- 

198 


JAMES  T.  FIELDS 

ing  something  in  camphor.  Curiosity  impelled  me  to 
linger,  but,  under  some  pretext,  I  was  nodded  out  of  the 
room. 

Although  my  kinswomen's  means  were  far  from  ample, 
they  determined  that  Swiftmouth  College  should  have 
the  distinction  of  calling  me  one  of  her  sons,  and  accord- 
ingly I  was  in  due  time  sent  for  preparation  to  a  neigh- 
boring academy.  Years  of  study  and  hard  fare  in  coun- 
try boarding-houses  told  upon  my  self-importance  as  the 
descendant  of  a  great  Englishman,  notwithstanding  all 
my  letters  from  the  honored  three  came  with  counsel  to 
"respect  myself  and  keep  up  the  dignity  of  the  family." 
Growing-up  man  forgets  good  counsel.  The  Arcadia  of 
respectability  is  apt  to  give  place  to  the  levity  of  foot- 
ball and  other  low-toned  accomplishments.  The  book 
of  life,  at  that  period,  opens  readily  at  fun  and  frolic, 
and  the  insignia  of  greatness  give  the  school-boy  no  en- 
vious pangs. 

I  was  nineteen  when  I  entered  the  hoary  halls  of  Swift- 
mouth.  I  call  them  hoary,  because  they  had  been  built 
more  than  fiftv  vears.  To  me  they  seemed  uncommonly 
hoary,  and  I  snuffed  antiquity  in  the  dusty  purlieus.  I 
now  began  to  study,  in  good  earnest,  the  wisdom  of  the 
past.  I  saw  clearly  the  value  of  dead  men  and  mouldy 
precepts,  especially  if  the  former  had  been  entombed  a 
thousand  years,  and  if  the  latter  were  well  done  in  sound- 
ing Greek  and  Latin.  I  began  to  reverence  royal  lines 
of  deceased  monarchs,  and  longed  to  connect  my  own 
name,  now  growing  into  college  popularity,  with  some 
far-off  mighty  one  who  had  ruled  in  pomp  and  luxury 
his  obsequious  people.  The  trunk  in  Snowborough  trou- 
bled my  dreams.  In  that  receptacle  still  slept  the  proof 
of  our  family  distinction.  "I  will  go,"  quoth  I,  "to  the 
home  of  my  aunts  next  vacation  and  there  learn  how  we 

i  qq 

Vol.  1— is  y* 


THE    PETTIBONE    LINEAGE 

became  mighty,  and  discover  precisely  why  we  don't 
practice  to-day  our  inherited  claims  to  glory." 

I  went  to  Snowborough.  Aunt  Patience  was  now  anx- 
ious to  lay  before  her  impatient  nephew  the  proof  he 
burned  to  behold.  But  first  she  must  explain.  All  the 
old  family  documents  and  letters  were,  no  doubt,  de- 
stroyed in  the  great  fire  of  '98,  as  nothing  in  the  shape 
of  parchment  or  paper  implying  nobility  had  ever  been 
discovered  in  Snowborough,  or  elsewhere.  But  there  had 
been  preserved,  for  many  years,  a  suit  of  imperial  clothes 
that  had  been  worn  by  their  great-grandfather  in  Eng- 
land, and,  no  doubt,  in  the  New  World  also.  These  gar- 
ments had  been  carefully  watched  and  guarded,  for  were 
they  not  the  proof  that  their  owner  belonged  to  a  station 
in  life  second,  if  second  at  all,  to  the  royal  court  of  King 
George  itself  ?  Precious  casket,  into  which  I  was  soon  to 
have  the  privilege  of  gazing !  Through  how  many  long 
years  these  fond,  foolish  virgins  had  lighted  their  un- 
flickering  lamps  of  expectation  and  hope  at  this  cherished 
old  shrine ! 

I  was  now  pn  my  way  to  the  family  repository  of  all 
our  greatness.  I  went  up  stairs  "on  the  jump/'  We  all 
knelt  down  before  the  well-preserved  box ;  and  my  proud 
Aunt  Patience,  in  a  somewhat  reverent  manner,  turned 
the  key.  My  heart, — I  am  not  ashamed  to  confess  it  now, 
although  it  is  forty  years  since  the  quartet,  in  search  of 
family  honors,  were  on  their  knees  that  summer  afternoon 
in  Snowborough, — my  heart  beat  high.  I  was  about  to 
look  on  that  which  might  be  a  duke's  or  an  earl's  regalia. 
And  I  was  descended  from  the  owner  in  a  direct  line! 
I  had  lately  been  reading  Shakespeare's  Titus  Androni- 
cus;  and  I  remembered,  there  before  the  trunk,  the  lines : 

"O  sacred  receptacle  of  my  joys, 
Sweet  cell  of  virtue  and  nobility!" 

200 


JAMES  T.  FIELDS 

The  lid  went  up,  and  the  sisters  began  to  unroll  the  pre- 
cious garments,  which  seemed  all  enshrined  in  aromatic 
gums  and  spices.  The  odor  of  that  interior  lives  with  me 
to  this  day;  and  I  grow  faint  with  the  memory  of  that 
hour.  With  pious  precision  the  clothes  were  uncovered, 
and  at  last  the  whole  suit  was  laid  before  my  expectant 
eyes. 

Reader!  I  am  an  old  man  now,  and  have  not  long  to 
walk  this  planet.  But  whatever  dreadful  shock  may  be  in 
reserve  for  my  declining  years,  I  am  certain  I  can  bear  it ; 
for  I  went  through  that  scene  at  Snowborough,  and  still 
live! 

When  the  garments  were  fully  displayed,  all  the  aunts 
looked  at  me.  I  had  been  to  college;  I  had  studied 
Burke's  Peerage;  I  had  been  once  to  New  York.  Per- 
haps I  could  immediately  name  the  exact  station  in  noble 
British  life  to  which  that  suit  of  clothes  belonged.  I 
could ;  I  saw  it  all  at  a  glance.  I  grew  flustered  and  pale. 
I  dared  not  look  my  poor  deluded  female  relatives  in  the 
face. 

"What  rank  in  the  peerage  do  these  gold-laced  gar- 
ments and  big  buttons  betoken  ?"  cried  all  three. 

"It  is  a  suit  of  servant's  livery!33  gasped  I,  and  fell 
back  with  a  shudder. 

That  evening,  after  the  sun  had  gone  down,  we  buried 
those  hateful  garments  in  a  ditch  at  the  bottom  of  the 
garden.  Rest  there  perturbed  body-coat,  yellow  trousers, 
brown  gaiters,  and  all ! 

"Vain  pomp  and  glory  of  this  world,  I  hate  ye !" 


201 


WHY  MOLES  HAVE  HANDS 

BY   ANNE   VIRGINIA    CULBERTSON 

One  day  the  children  came  running  to  Aunt  Nancy 
with  a  mole  which  one  of  the  dogs  had  just  killed.  They 
had  never  seen  one  before  and  were  very  curious  as  to 
what  it  might  be. 

"Well,  befo'  de  king!"  said  Nancy,  "whar  y'all  bin 
livin'  dat  you  nuver  seed  a  mole  befo'  ?  Whar  you  come 
fum  mus'  be  a  mighty  cur'ous  spot  ef  dey  ain'  have 
no  moleses  dar;  mus'  be  sump'n  wrong  wid  dat  place. 
I  bin  mos'  all  over  dish  yer  Sussex  kyounty  endurin'  er 
my  time,  an'  I  ain'  nuver  come  'cross  no  place  yit  whar 
dey  ain'  have  moleses. 

"Moleses  is  sut'n'y  cur'ous  li'l  creeturs,"  she  contin- 
ued. "I  bin  teckin'  tickler  notuss  un  'em  dis  long  time, 
an'  dey  knows  mo'n  you'd  think  fer,  jes'  ter  look  at  'em. 
Dough  dey  lives  down  un'need  de  groun',  yit  dey  is  fus'- 
class  swimmers;  I  done  seed  one,  wid  my  own  eyes, 
crossin'  de  branch,  an'  dey  kin  root  'long  un'need  de 
yearf  mos'  ez  fas'  ez  a  hoss  kin  trot  on  top  uv  hit.  Y'all 
neenter  look  dat-a-way,  'kase  hit's  de  trufe;  dey's  jes' 
built  fer  gittin'  'long  fas'  unner  groun'.  Der  han's  is 
bofe  pickaxes  an'  shovels  fer  'em;  dey  digs  an'  scoops 
wid  der  front  ones  an'  kicks  de  dirt  out  de  way  wid  der 
behime  ones.  Der  strong  snouts  he'ps  'em,  too,  ter  push 
der  way  thu  de  dirt." 

"Their  fur  is  just  as  soft  and  shiny  as  silk,"  said 
Janey. 

"Yas,"  said  Aunt  Nancy,  "hit's  dat  sof  an'  shiny  dat, 

202 


ANNE   VIRGINIA    CULBERTSON 

dough  dey  live  all  time  in  de  dirt,  not  a  speck  er  dirt 
sticks  to  'em.  You  ses  'sof  an'  shiny  ez  silk/  but  I  tell 
you  hit  is  silk ;  silk  clo'es,  dat  'zackly  w'at  'tis." 

Ned  laughed.  "Who  ever  heard  of  an  animal  dressed 
in  silk  clothes?"  he  said. 

"Nemmine,"  she  answered,  "you  talks  mighty  peart, 
but  I  knows  w'at  I  knows,  an'  dish  yer  I  bin  tellin'  you 
is  de  sho'-'nuff  trufe." 

"Just  see  its  paws,"  Janey  went  on,  "why,  they  look 
exactly  like  hands." 

"Look  lak  han's!  look  lak  han's!  umph!  dey  is  han's, 
all  thumbered  an'  fingered  jes  lak  yo'n;  an',  w'at's  mo', 
dey  wuz  onct  human  han's ;  human,  dey  wuz  so !" 

"How  could  they  ever  have  been  human  hands  and 
then  been  put  on  a  mole's  body?"  asked  Ned.  "I  believe 
most  things  you  say,  Aunt  Nancy,  but  I  can't  swallow 
that." 

"Dar's  a  li'l  boy  roun'  dese  diggin's  whar  talkin' 
mighty  sassy  an'  rambunkshus,  seem  ter  me.  I  ain'  ax 
you  ter  swoller  nuttin'  't  all,  but  'pears  ter  me  y'all  bin 
swollerin'  dem  'ar  ol'  tales  right  an'  lef,  faster'n'  I  kin 
call  'em  ter  min',  an'  I  ain'  seed  none  er  you  choke  on 
'em  yit,  ner  cry,  'miff  said.  I'se  'tickler  saw'y  'bout  dis, 
'kase  I  done  had  hit  in  min'  ter  tell  you  a  tale  'bout 
huccome  moleses  have  han'ses,  whar  I  larn  f'um  a 
ooman  dat  come  f'um  Fauquier  kyounty,  but  now  dat 
Mars'  Ned  'pear  ter  be  so  jubous  'bout  hit,  I  ain'  gwine 
was'e  my  time  on  folks  whar  ain'  gwine  b'lieve  me,  no- 
hows.  Nemmine,  de  chillen  over  on  de  Thompson  place 
gwine  baig  me  fer  dat  tale  w'en  I  goes  dar  ag'in,  an', 
w'at's  mo',  dey  gwine  git  hit ;  fer  dey  b'lieves  ev'y  wu'd 
dat  draps  f'um  my  mouf,  lak  'twuz  de  law  an'  de  gospil." 

Of  course,  the  children  protested  that  they  were  as 
ready  to  hang  upon  her  words  as  the  Thompson  children 

203 


WHY    MOLES    HAVE    HANDS 

could  possibly  be,  and  presented  their  prior  claim  to  the 
tale  in  such  moving  fashion  that  Aunt  Nancy  was  finally 
prevailed  upon  to  come  down  from  her  high  horse  and 
tell  the  story. 

"I  done  tor  you,"  she  said,  "dat  dem  'ar  han's  is 
human,  an'  I  mean  jes'  w'at  I  ses,  'kase  de  moleses  useter 
be  folks,  sho'-'nuff  folks,  dough  dey  is  all  swunk  up  ter 
dis  size  an'  der  han's  is  all  dat's  lef  ter  tell  de  tale. 
Yas,  suh,  in  de  ol'  days,  so  fur  back  dat  you  kain't 
kyount  hit,  de  moleses  wuz  folks,  an'  mighty  proud  an' 
biggitty  folks  at  dat.  Dey  wan't  gwine  be  ketched  wear- 
in'  any  er  dish  yer  kaliker,  er  linsey-woolsey,  er  home- 
spun er  sech  ez  dat,  ner  even  broadclawf,  ner  bombazine, 
naw  suh!  Dey  jes'  tricked  derse'fs  out  in  de  fines'  an* 
shinies'  er  silk,  nuttin'  mo'  ner  less,  an'  den  dey  went 
a-traipsin'  up  an'  down  an'  hether  an'  yon,  fer  tu'rr  folks 
ter  look  at  an'  mek  'miration  over.  Mo'n  dat,  dey  'uz 
so  fine  an'  fiddlin'  dey  oon  set  foot  ter  de  groun'  lessen 
dar  wuz  a  kyarpet  spread  down  fer  'em  ter  walk  on.  Dey 
tells  me  hit  sut'n'y  wuz  a  sight  in  de  worl'  ter  see  dem 
'ar  folks  walkin'  up  an'  down  on  de  kyarpets,  trailin' 
an'  rus'lin'  der  silk  clo'es,  an'  curchyin'  an'  bobbin'  ter 
one  nu'rr  w'en  dey  met  up,  but  nuver  speakin'  ter  de 
common  folks  whar  walkin'  on  de  groun',  ner  even  so 
much  ez  lookin'  at  'em.  Wats  mo',  dey  wuz  so  uppish 
dey  thought  de  yearf  wuz  too  low  down  fer  'em  even  ter 
run  der  eyes  over,  so  dey  went  'long  wid  der  haids 
r'ared  an'  der  eyes  all  time  lookin'  up,  stidder  down. 
You  kin  be  sho'  dem  gwines-on  am'  mek  'em  pop'lous 
wid  tu'rr  folks,  'kase  people  jes'  natchelly  kain't  stan'  hit 
ter  have  you  th'owin'  up  to  'em  dat  you  is  better'n  w'at 
dey  is,  w'en  all  de  time  dey  knows  you're  nuttin'  but 
folks,  same  'z  dem. 

"Dey  kep'  gwine  on  so-fashion,  an'  gittin'  mo'  an'  mo' 

204 


ANNE   VIRGINIA    CULBERTSON 

pompered  an'  uppish,  'twel  las'  dey  'tracted  de  'tention 
er  de  Lawd,  an'  He  say  ter  Hisse'f,  He  do,  'Who  is  dese 
yer  folks,  anyhows,  whar  gittin'  so  airish,  walkin'  up 
an'  down  an'  back  an'  fo'th  on  my  yearf  an'  spurnin'  hit 
so's't  dey  spread  kyarpets  'twix'  hit  an'  der  footses, 
treatin'  my  yearf,  w'at  I  done  mek,  lak  'twuz  de  dirt 
un'need  der  footses,  an*  'spisin'  der  feller  creeturs  an' 
excusin'  'em  er  bein'  common,  an'  keepin'  der  eyes  turnt 
up  all  de  time,  ez  ef  dey  wuz  too  good  ter  look  at  de 
things  I  done  mek  an'  putt  on  my  yearf?  I  mus'  see 
'bout  dis;  I  mus'  punish  dese  'sumptious  people  an' 
show  'em  dat  one'r  my  creeturs  is  jez'  ez  low  down  ez 
tu'rr,  in  my  sight.' 

"So  de  Lawd  He  pass  jedgment  on  de  moleses.  Fus' 
He  tuck  an'  made  'em  lose  der  human  shape  an'  den  He 
swunk  'em  up  ontwel  dey  'z  no  bigger'n  dey  is  now,  dat 
'uz  ter  show  'em  how  no-kyount  dey  wuz  in  His  sight. 
Den  bekase  dey  thought  derse'fs  too  good  ter  walk  'pun 
de  bare  groun'  He  sont  'em  ter  live  un'need  hit,  whar 
dey  hatter  dig  an'  scratch  der  way  'long.  Las'  uv  all  He 
tuck  an'  tuck  'way  der  eyes  an'  made  'em  blin',  dat's 
'kase  dey  done  'spise  ter  look  at  der  feller  creeturs.  But 
He  feel  kind  er  saw'y  fer  'em  w'en  He  git  dat  fur,  an'  He 
ain'  wanter  punish  'em  too  haivy,  so  He  lef  'em  dese  silk 
clo'es  whar  I  done  tol'  you  'bout,  an'  dese  han's  whar 
you  kin  see  fer  yo'se'fs  is  human,  an'  I  reckon  bofe  dem 
things  putt  'em  in  min'  er  w'at  dey  useter  be  an'  mek  'em 
'umble.  Uver  sence  den  de  moleses  bin  gwine  'long 
un'need  de  groun',  'cordin  ter  de  jedgmen'  er  de  Lawd, 
an'  diggin'  an'  scratchin'  der  way  thu  de  worl',  in  trial 
an'  tribilashun,  wid  dem  po'  li'l  human  han'ses.  An' 
dat  orter  l'arn  you  w'at  comes  er  folks  'spisin'  der  fel- 
ler creeturs,  an'  I  want  /all  ter  'member  dat  nex'  time 
I  year  you  call  dem  Thompson  chillen  'trash.'  " 

205 


WHY    MOLES    HAVE    HANDS 

"I'd  like  to  know  what  use  moles  are,"  said  Ned,  who 
was  of  rather  an  investigating  turn  of  mind ;  "they  just 
go  round  rooting  through  the  ground  spoiling  people's 
gardens,  and  I  don't  see  what  they're  good  for;  you 
can't  eat  them  or  use  them  any  way." 

"Sho',  chil' !"  said  Aunt  Nancy,  "you  dunno  w'at  you 
talkin'  'bout;  de  Lawd  have  some  use  fer  ev'y  creetur 
He  done  mek.  Dey  tells  me  dat  de  moleses  eats  up  lots 
er  bugs  an'  wu'ms  an'  sech  ez  dat,  dat  mought  hurt  de 
craps  ef  dey  wuz  let  ter  live.  Sidesen  dat,  jes'  gimme 
one'r  de  claws  er  dat  mole,  an'  lemme  hang  hit  roun' 
de  neck  uv  a  baby  whar  cuttin'  his  toofs,  an'  I  boun'  you, 
ev'y  toof  in  his  jaws  gwine  come  bustin'  thu  his  goms 
widout  nair'  a  ache  er  a  pain  ter  let  him  know  dey's  dar. 
Don't  talk  ter  me  'bout  de  moleses  bein'  wufless!  J 
done  walk  de  flo'  too  much  wid  cryin'  babies"  not  ter 
know  de  use  er  moleses." 

"You  don't  really  believe  that,  do  you?"  asked  Ned. 

"B'lieve  hit!"  she  answered  indignantly;  "I  don' 
b'lieve  hit,  I  knows  hit.  I  done  tol'  you  all  de  things  a 
hyar's  foot  kin  do;  w'ats  de  reason  a  mole's  foot  ain' 
good  fer  sump'n,  too?  Ef  folks  on'y  knowed  mo'  about 
sech  kyores  ez  dat  dar  neenter  be  so  much  sickness  an' 
mis'ry  in  de  worl'.  I  done  kyored  myse'f  er  de  rheuma- 
tiz  in  my  right  arm  jes'  by  tyin'  a  eel-skin  roun'  hit, 
an'  ev'yb'dy  on  dis  plantation  knows  dat  ef  you'll  wrop 
a  chil's  hya'r  wid  eel-skin  strings  hit's  boun'  ter  mek 
hit  grow.  Ef  you  want  de  chil'  hisse'f  ter  grow  an'  ter 
walk  soon  you  mus'  bresh  his  feet  wid  de  broom.  I 
oon  tell  you  dis  ef  I  hadn't  tried  'em  myse'f.  You 
mus'n'  talk  so  biggitty  'bout  w'at  you  dunno  nuttin' 
't  all  about.  You  come  f'um  up  Norf  yonner,  an'  mebbe 
dese  things  don'  wu'k  de  same  dar  ez  w'at  dey  does  down 
yer  whar  we  bin  'pendin'  on  'em  so  long.' 

206 


A  PSALM  OF  LIFE 

BY    PHCEBE    CARY 

Tell  me  not,  in  idle  jingle,     . 

Marriage  is  an  empty  dream, 
For  the  girl  is  dead  that's  single, 

And  things  are  not  what  they  seem. 

Married  life  is  real,  earnest, 

Single  blessedness  a  fib, 
Taken  from  man,  to  man  returnest, 

Has  been  spoken  of  the  rib. 

Not  enjoyment,  and  not  sorrow, 
Is  our  destined  end  or  way ; 

But  to  act,  that  each  to-morrow 
Nearer  brings  the  wedding-day. 

Life  is  long,  and  youth  is  fleeting, 
And  our  hearts,  if  there  we  search, 

Still  like  steady  drums  are  beating 
Anxious  marches  to  the  Church. 

In  the  world's  broad  field  of  battle, 

In  the  bivouac  of  life, 
Be  not  like  dumb,  driven  cattle ; 

Be  a  woman,  be  a  wife ! 

Trust  no  Future,  howe'er  pleasant ! 

Let  the  dead  Past  bury  its  dead ! 
Act — act  in  the  living  Present. 

Heart  within,  and  Man  ahead ! 
207 


A    PSALM    OF    LIFE 

Lives  of  married  folks  remind  us 
We  can  live  our  lives  as  well, 

And,  departing,  leave  behind  us ; — 
Such  examples  as  will  tell ; — 

Such  examples,  that  another, 
Sailing  far  from  Hymen's  port, 

A  forlorn,  unmarried  brother, 

Seeing,  shall  take  heart,  and  court. 

Let  us  then  be  up  and  doing, 
With  the  heart  and  head  begin ; 

Still  achieving,  still  pursuing, 
Learn  to  labor,  and  to  win ! 


208 


AN  ODYSSEY  OF  K'S 

BY   WILBUR  D.    NESBIT 

I've  traveled  up  and  down  this  land 

And  crossed  it  in  a  hundred  ways, 
But  somehow  can  not  understand 

These  towns  with  names  chock-full  of  K's. 
For  instance,  once  it  fell  to  me 

To  pack  my  grip  and  quickly  go — 
I  thought  at  first  to  Kankakee 

But  then  remembered  Kokomo. 
"Oh,  Kankakee  or  Kokomo,,, 
I  sighed,  "just  which  I  do  not  know." 

Then  to  the  ticket  man  I  went — 

He  was  a  snappy  man,  and  bald, 
Behind  an  iron  railing  pent — 

And  I  confessed  that  I  was  stalled. 
"A  much  K'd  town  is  booked  for  me," 

I  said.  "I'm  due  to-morrow,  so 
I  wonder  if  it's  Kankakee 

Or  if  it  can  be  Kokomo." 
"There's  quite  a  difference,"  growled  he, 
"  'Twixt  Kokomo  and  Kankakee." 

He  spun  a  yard  of  tickets  out — 
The  folded  kind  that  makes  a  strip 

And  leaves  the  passenger  in  doubt 
When  the  conductor  takes  a  clip. 
209 


AN    ODYSSEY    OF    K'S 

He  flipped  the  tickets  out,  I  say, 

And  asked:   "Now,  which  one  shall  it  be? 
I'll  sell  you  tickets  either  way — 

To  Kokomo  or  Kankakee." 
And  still  I  really  did  not  know — 
I  thought  it  might  be  Kokomo. 

At  any  rate,  I  took  a  chance ; 

He  struck  his  stamp-machine  a  blow 
And  I,  a  toy  of  circumstance, 

Was  ticketed  for  Kokomo. 
Upon  the  train  I  wondered  still 

If  all  was  right  as  it  should  be. 
Some  mystic  warning  seemed  to  fill 

My  mind  with  thoughts  of  Kankakee. 
The  car-wheels  clicked  it  out :  "Now,  he 
Had  better  be  for  Kankakee !" 

Until  at  last  it  grew  so  loud, 

At  some  big  town  I  clambered  out 
And  elbowed  madly  through  the  crowd, 

Determined  on  the  other  route. 
The  ticket-agent  saw  my  haste ; 

"Where  do  you  wish  to  go  ?"  cried  he. 
I  yelled :  "I  have  no  time  to  waste — 

Please  fix  me  up  for  Kankakee !" 
Again  the  wheels,  now  fast,  now  slow, 
Clicked :  "Ought  to  go  to  Kokomo  I" 

Well,  anyhow,  I  did  not  heed 

The  message  that  they  sent  to  me. 

I  went,  and  landed  wrong  indeed — 
Went  all  the  way  to  Kankakee. 
210 


WILBUR    D.    NESBIT 

Then,  in  a  rush,  I  doubled  back — 

Went  wrong  again,  I'd  have  you  know. 

There  was  no  call  for  me,  alack ! 
Within  the  town  of  Kokomo. 

And  then  I  learned,  confound  the  luck, 
I  should  have  gone  to  Keokuk! 


211 


THE  DEACON'S  TROUT 

BY    HENRY   WARD    BEECHER 

He  was  a  curious  trout.  I  believe  he  knew  Sunday 
just  as  well  as  Deacon  Marble  did.  At  any  rate,  the 
deacon  thought  the  trout  meant  to  aggravate  him.  The 
deacon,  you  know,  is  a  little  waggish.  He  often  tells 
about  that  trout.  Sez  he,  "One  Sunday  morning,  just  as 
I  got  along  by  the  willows,  I  heard  an  awful  splash,  and 
not  ten  feet  from  shore  I  saw  the  trout,  as  long  as  my 
arm,  just  curving  over  like  a  bow,  and  going  down  with 
something  for  breakfast.  Gracious!  says  I,  and  I  almost 
jumped  out  of  the  wagon.  But  my  wife  Polly,  says  she, 
'What  on  airth  are  you  thinkin'  of,  Deacon?  It's  Sab- 
bath day,  and  you're  goin'  to  meetin' !  It's  a  pretty  busi- 
ness for  a  deacon !'  That  sort  o'  cooled  me  off.  But  I  do 
say  that,  for  about  a  minute,  I  wished  I  wasn't  a  deacon. 
But  't  wouldn't  made  any  difference,  for  I  came  down 
next  day  to  mill  on  purpose,  and  I  came  down  once  or 
twice  more,  and  nothin'  was  to  be  seen,  tho'  I  tried  him 
with  the  most  temptin'  things.  Wal,  next  Sunday  I  came 
along  ag'in,  and,  to  save  my  life  I  couldn't  keep  off  worldly 
and  wanderin'  thoughts.  I  tried  to  be  sayin'  my  catechism, 
but  I  couldn't  keep  my  eyes  off  the  pond  as  we  came  up 
to  the  willows.  I'd  got  along  in  the  catechism,  as  smooth 
as  the  road,  to  the  Fourth  Commandment,  and  was  sayin' 
it  out  loud  for  Polly,  and  jist  as  I  was  sayin :  'What  is  re- 
quired in  the  Fourth  Commandment?'  I  heard  a  splash, 
and  there  was  the  trout,  and,  afore  I  could  think,  I  said : 

212 


HENRY   WARD   BEECHER 

'Gracious,  Polly,  I  must  have  that  trout/  She  almost  riz 
right  up,  'I  knew  you  wa'n't  savin'  your  catechism  hearty. 
Is  this  the  way  you  answer  the  question  about  keepin'  the 
Lord's  day?  I'm  ashamed,  Deacon  Marble,'  says  she. 
'You'd  better  change  your  road,  and  go  to  meetin'  on  the 
road  over  the  hill.  If  I  was  a  deacon,  I  wouldn't  let  a 
fish's  tail  whisk  the  whole  catechism  out  of  my  head' ;  and 
I  had  to  go  to  meetin'  on  the  hill  road  all  the  rest  of  the 
summer." 


ENOUGH* 

BY   TOM    MASSON 

I  shot  a  rocket  in  the  air, 
It  fell  to  earth,  I  knew  not  where 
Until  next  day,  with  rage  profound, 
The  man  it  fell  on  came  around. 
In  less  time  than  it  takes  to  tell, 
He  showed  me  where  that  rocket  fell ; 
And  now  I  do  not  greatly  care 
To  shoot  more  rockets  in  the  air. 

*  By  permission  of  Life  Publishing  Company. 


213 


THE  FIGHTING  RACE 

BY   JOSEPH    I.    C.    CLARKE 

"Read  out  the  names !"  and  Burke  sat  back, 
And  Kelly  drooped  his  head, 
While  Shea — they  call  him  Scholar  Jack — 

Went  down  the  list  of  the  dead. 
Officers,  seamen,  gunners,  marines, 

The  crews  of  the  gig  and  yawl, 
The  bearded  man  and  the  lad  in  his  teens, 

Carpenters,  coal-passers — all. 
Then  knocking  the  ashes  from  out  his  pipe, 
Said  Burke,  in  an  off-hand  way, 
"We're  all  in  that  dead  man's  list,  by  Cripe! 

Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea." 
"Well,  here  's  to  the  Maine,  and  I'm  sorry  for  Spain !" 
Said  Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea. 

"Wherever  there  's  Kellys  there  's  trouble,"   said 
Burke. 
"Wherever  fighting  's  the  game, 
Or  a  spice  of  danger  in  grown  man's  work," 
Said  Kelly,  "you'll  find  my  name." 
"And  do  we  fall  short,"  said  Burke,  getting  mad, 
"When  it  's  touch  and  go  for  life?" 
Said  Shea,  "It 's  thirty-odd  years,  be  dad, 

Since  I  charged  to  drum  and  fife 
Up  Marye's  Heights,  and  my  old  canteen 
Stopped  a  Rebel  ball  on  its  way. 

214 


JOSEPH    I.    C.    CLARKE 

There  were  blossoms  of  blood  pn  our  sprigs   of 
green — 
Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea — 
And  the  dead  did  n't  brag."    "Well,  here  's  to  the 
flag!" 
Said  Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea. 

"I  wish  't  was  in  Ireland,  for  there's  the  place," 
Said  Burke,  "that  we  'd  die  by  right, 
In  the  cradle  of  our  soldier  race, 
After  one  good  stand-up  fight. 
My  grandfather  fell  on  Vinegar  Hill, 

And  fighting  was  not  his  trade ; 
But  his  rusty  pike  's  in  the  cabin  still, 
With  Hessian  blood  on  the  blade." 
"Aye,  aye,"  said  Kelly,  "the  pikes  were  great 
When  the  word  was  'Clear  the  way !' 
We  were  thick  on  the  roll  in  ninety-eight — 
Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea." 
"Well,  here  's  to  the  pike  and  the  sword  and  the 
like!" 
Said  Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea. 

And  Shea,  the  scholar,  with  rising  joy, 

Said  "We  were  at  Ramillies. 
We  left  our  bones  at  Fontenoy, 

And  up  in  the  Pyrenees, 
Before  Dunkirk,  on  Landen's  plain, 

Cremona,  Lille,  and  Ghent, 
We  're  all  over  Austria,  France,  and  Spain, 

Wherever  they  pitched  a  tent. 
We  've  died  for  England  from  Waterloo 

To  Egypt  and  Dargai ; 

Vol.  1—16  x5 


THE   FIGHTING    RACE 

And  still  there  's  enough  for  a  corps  or  crew, 
Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea." 
"Well,  here  is  to  good  honest  fighting  blood !" 
Said  Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea. 

"Oh,  the  fighting  races  don't  die  out, 

If  they  seldom  die  in  bed, 
For  love  is  first  in  their  hearts,  no  doubt," 

Said  Burke.   Then  Kelly  said: 
"When  Michael,  the  Irish  Archangel,  stands, 

The  angel  with  the  sword, 
And  the  battle-dead  from  a  hundred  lands 

Are  ranged  in  one  big  horde, 
Our  line,  that  for  Gabriel's  trumpet  waits, 

Will  stretch  tree  deep  that  day, 
From  Jehoshaphat  to  the  Golden  Gates — 

Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea." 

"Well,  here  's  thank  God  for  the  race  and  the 
sod!" 

Said  Kelly  and  Burke  and  Shea. 


216 


THE  ORGAN 

BY   HENRY    WARD    BEECHER 

At  one  of  his  week  night  lectures,  Beecher  was  speak- 
ing about  the  building  and  equipping  of  new  churches. 
After  a  few  satirical  touches  about  church  architects  and 
their  work,  he  went  on  to  ridicule  the  usual  style  of  pul- 
pit— the  "sacred  mahogany  tub" — "plastered  up  against 
some  pillar  like  a  barn-swallow's  nest."  Then  he  passed 
on  to  the  erection  of  the  organ,  and  to  the  opening  recital. 

"The  organ  long  expected  has  arrived,  been  unpacked, 
set  up,  and  gloried  over.  The  great  players  of  the  region 
round  about,  or  of  distant  celebrity,  have  had  the  grand 
organ  exhibition;  and  this  magnificent  instrument  has 
been  put  through  all  its  paces  in  a  manner  which  has  sur- 
prised every  one,  and,  if  it  had  had  a  conscious  existence, 
must  have  surprised  the  organ  itself  most  of  all.  It  has 
piped,  fluted,  trumpeted,  brayed,  thundered.  It  has  played 
so  loud  that  everybody  was  deafened,  and  so  soft  that  no- 
body could  hear.  The  pedals  played  for  thunder,  the 
flutes  languished  and  coquetted,  and  the  swell  died  away 
in  delicious  suffocation,  like  one  singing  a  sweet  song 
under  the  bed-clothes.  Now  it  leads  down  a  stupendous 
waltz  with  full  brass,  sounding  very  much  as  if,  in  sum- 
mer, a  thunderstorm  should  play,  'Come,  Haste  to  the 
Wedding/  or  'Moneymusk.'  Then  come  marches,  galops, 
and  hornpipes.  An  organ  playing  hornpipes  ought  to 
have  elephants  as  dancers. 

"At  length  a  fugue  is  rendered  to  show  the  whole  scope 

217 


THE    ORGAN 

and  power  of  the  instrument.  The  theme,  like  a  cautious 
rat,  peeps  out  to  see  if  the  coast  is  clear ;  and,  after  a  few 
hesitations,  comes  forth  and  begins  to  frisk  a  little,  and 
run  up  and  down  to  see  what  it  can  find.  It  finds  just  what 
it  did  not  want,  a  purring  tenor  lying  in  ambush  and 
waiting  for  a  spring ;  and  as  the  theme  comes  incautiously 
near,  the  savage  cat  of  a  tenor  springs  at  it,  misses  its 
hold,  and  then  takes  after  it  with  terrible  earnestness. 
But  the  tenor  has  miscalculated  the  agility  of  the  theme. 
All  that  it  could,  do,  with  the  most  desperate  effort,  was 
to  keep  the  theme  from  running  back  into  its  hole  again ; 
and  so  they  ran  up  and  down,  around  and  around,  dodg- 
ing, eluding,  whipping  in  and  out  of  every  corner  and 
nook,  till  the  whole  organ  was  aroused,  and  the  bass  be- 
gan to  take  part,  but  unluckily  slipped  and  rolled  down- 
stairs, and  lay  at  the  bottom  raving  and  growling  in  the 
most  awful  manner,  and  nothing  could  appease  it.  Some- 
times the  theme  was  caught  by  one  part,  and  dangled 
for  a  moment,  then  with  a  snatch,  another  part  took  it 
and  ran  off  exultant,  until,  unawares,  the  same  trick  was 
played  on  it ;  and,  finally,  all  the  parts,  being  greatly  exer- 
cised in  mind,  began  to  chase  each  other  promiscuously  in 
and  out,  up  and  down,  now  separating  and  now  rushing 
in  full  tilt  together,  until  everything  in  the  organ  loses 
patience  and  all  the  'stops'  are  drawn,  and,  in  spite  of  all 
that  the  brave  organist  could  do — who  bobbed  up  and 
down,  feet,  hands,  head  and  all — the  tune  broke  up  into 
a  real  row,  and  every  part  was  clubbing  every  other  one, 
until  at  length,  patience  being  no  longer  a  virtue,  the 
organist,  with  two  or  three  terrible  crashes,  put  an  end  to 
the  riot,  and  brought  the  great  organ  back  to  silence." 


218 


MY  GRANDMOTHER'S  TURKEY-TAIL  FAN 

BY    SAMUEL   MINTURN    PECK 

It  owned  not  the  color  that  vanity  dons 

Or  slender  wits  choose  for  display; 
Its  beautiful  tint  was  a  delicate  bronze, 

A  brown  softly  blended  with  gray. 
From  her  waist  to  her  chin,  spreading  out  without  break, 

'Twas  built  on  a  generous  plan : 
The  pride  of  the  forest  was  slaughtered  to  make 

My  grandmother's  turkey-tail  fan. 

For  common  occasions  it  never  was  meant : 

In  a  chest  between  two  silken  cloths 
'Twas  kept  safely  hidden  with  careful  intent 

In  camphor  to  keep  out  the  moths. 
'Twas  famed  far  and  wide  through  the  whole  countryside, 

From  Beersheba  e'en  unto  Dan ; 
And  often  at  meeting  with  envy  'twas  eyed, 

My  grandmother's  turkey-tail  fan. 

Camp-meetings,  indeed,  were  its  chiefest  delight. 

Like  a  crook  unto  sheep  gone  astray 
It  beckoned  backsliders  to  re-seek  the  right, 

And  exhorted  the  sinners  to  pray. 
It  always  beat  time  when  the  choir  went  wrong, 

In  psalmody  leading  the  van. 
Old  Hundred,  I  know,  was  its  favorite  song — 

My  grandmother's  turkey-tail  fan. 

219 


MY   GRANDMOTHER'S    TURKEY-TAIL    FAN 

A  fig  for  the  fans  that  are  made  nowadays, 

Suited  only  to  frivolous  mirth ! 
A  different  thing  was  the  fan  that  I  praise, 

Yet  it  scorned  not  the  good  things  of  earth. 
At  bees  and  at  quiltings  'twas  aye  to  be  seen ; 

The  best  of  the  gossip  began 
When  in  at  the  doorway  had  entered  serene 

My  grandmother's  turkey-tail  fan. 

Tradition  relates  of  it  wonderful  tales. 

Its  handle  of  leather  was  buff. 
Though  shorn  of  its  glory,  e'en  now  it  exhales 

An  odor  of  hymn-books  and  snuff. 
Its  primeval  grace,  if  you  like,  you  can  trace : 

Twas  limned  for  the  future  to  scan, 
Just  under  a  smiling  gold-spectacled  face, 

My  grandmother's  turkey-tail  fan. 


220 


HOW  TO  EN  J  OT  THE   ECSTASr   THAT  ACCOM- 
PANIES SUCCESSFUL  SPEAKING 


Before  An  Audience 


The  Use  of  the  Will  in  Public  Speaking 
By  NATHAN   SHEPPARD 

Telh  to  the    Studentt  of  the    University   cf  St.    Andre%o    6*d 
the    University  of  Aberdeen. 

This  is  not  a  book  on  elocution,  but  it  deals  in  a 
practical  common-sense  way  with  the  requirements 
and  constituents  of  effective  public  speaking. 

CAPITAL,  FAMILIAR,  AND  RACY 

M  I  shall  recommend  it  to  our  three  schools  of  elocution.  It 
la  capital,  familar,  racy,  and  profoundly  philosophical. ' ' — y*tefk 
T.  Duryea,  D.D. 

REPLETE  WITH  PRACTICAL  SENSE 

"  It  is  replete  with  practical  sense  and  sound  suggestions,  and 
I  should  like  to  have  it  talked  into  the  students  by  the  author." 
— Prof,  y.   H.    Gilmore,  Rochester  University. 

"KNOCKS  TO  FLINDERS"  OLD  THEORIES 
"The  author  knocks  to  flinders  the  theories  of  elocutionist, 
and  opposes  all  their  rules  with  one  simple  counsel :   '  Wake  up 
your  will.'  " — The  Nov   Turk  Evangelist. 

TO  REACH,  MOVE,  AND  INFLUENCE  MEN 
"  He  does  not  teach  elocution,  but  the  art  of  public  speaking. 
.   ,  .  Gives  suggestions  that  will  enable  <me  to  reach  and  move 
and  influence  men. " — The  Pittsburg   Chronicle. 

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FORCEFUL    SPEAKING   BY  NEW  METHODS 

THE  ESSENTIALS 
OF    ELOCUTION 

Revised,  Enlarged,   New  Matter 
By  ALFRED  AYRES 

Author  of  "The  Orthoepist,"  "The  Verbalist."  etc.,  etc. 

A  unique  and  valuable  guide  on  the  art  of  speaking 
the  language  so  as  to  make  the  thought  it  expresses 
clear  and  impressive.  It  is  a  departure  from  the  old 
and  conventional  methods  which  have  tended  so 
often  to  make  mere  automatons  on  the  platform  or 
stage  instead  of  animated  souls. 

HIGHLY  PRAISED  BY  AUTHORITIES 

"  It  is  worth  more  than  all  the  ponderous  philosophies  on 
the  subject." — The  Lutheran  Observer. 

"  It  is  a  case  where    brevity  is    the   soul   of  value." — The 

Rochester  Herald. 

"  His   suggestions    are    simple  and  sensible." — The  Congre- 

Rationalist. 

"An  unpretentious  but  really  meritorious  volume." — Dra- 
matic Review. 

"  Mr.  Ayres  has  made  this  subject  a  study  for  many  years, 
and   what   he  has  written  is   worth  reading. " — The  Dramatic 

News. 

"It  is  brightly  written  and  original.  "—Richard  Henry 
Stoddard. 

16mo,   Cloth,  174  Pages,   Tasteful  Binding 
Deckle  Edges.      With  Frontispiece.     75  cts. 

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HOW  TO 
SPEAK   IN   PUBLIC 

A  Most   Suggestive   and  Practical  Self-Instruclor 
By  Grenville  Kleiser 

Author  of  **  Power  and  Personality  in  Speaking,'*  Etc. 

'  I  'HIS  new  book  13  a  complete  elocutionary  manual  com- 
x  prizing  numerous  exercises  for  developing  the  speaking 
voice,  deep  breathing,  pronun*iation,  vocal  expression,  and 
g-sture  j  also  selections  for  practise  from  masterpieces  of  ancient 
and  modern  eloquence.  It  is  intended  for  students,  teachers, 
business  men,  lawyers,  clergymen,  politicians,  clubs,  debating 
societies,  and  in  fact  every  one  interested  in  the  art  of  public 
speaking. 

OUTLINE  OF  CONTENTS 


Mechanics  of  Elocution 
Mental  Aspects 
Public  Speaking 
Selections  for  Practise 


Preparation   of  Speech 


Previous  Preparation 
Physical  Preparation 
Mental  Preparation 
Moral  Preparation 


"  Many  useful  suggestions  in  it." — Hon.  Josef  b  II.  Choatc,  New 
York. 

u  It  is  admirable  and  practical  instruction  in  the  teebnic  of  speak, 
ing,  ar,d  I  congratulate  you  upon  your  thorough  work." — Hon.  Albert 
J.  Bcveridge. 

"  The  work  has  been  very  carefully  and  well  compiled  from  a  large 
number  of  onr  best  works  on  the  subject  of  elocution.  It  contains 
many  admirable  suggestions  for  those  who  are  interested  in  becoming 
better  speakers.  As  a  general  text  for  use  in  teaching  public  speak- 
ing, it  may  be  used  with  great  success." — John  IV.  IVetsctl,  instructor 
in  Public  Speaking,  Yale  University,  New  Haven,  Conn. 


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How  to  Develop 


Power  and 


Personality 

in  Speaking 


By  GRENVILLE   KLEISER 

Author  of  "  How  to«S peak  in  Public."   Introduction  by  Lewis  O.  Brai- 
tow,  D.D.,  Prtfesstr  Emcritui,  Tale  Divinity  Sch*«l 

This  new  book  gives   practical  suggestions   and 
exercises  for  Developing  Power  and  Personality  in 
Speaking.     It  has  many  selections  for  practise. 
POWER. — Power  of  Voice — Power  of  Gesture — 
Power  of  Vocabulary — Power  of  Imagination — 
Power  of  English  Style — Power  of  Illustration — 
Power  of  Memory — Power  of  Extempore  Speech 
—Power  of  Conversation — Power  of  Silence- 
Power  of  a  Whisper — Power  of  the  Eye. 
PERSONALITY—  More  Personality  for  the  Lawyer 
— The  Salesman — The  Preacher — The  Politician 
— The     Physician  —  The     Congressman  —  The 
Alert  Citizen. 

"  I  give  it  my  hearty  commendation.  It  should  take  its 
place  upon  the  library  shelves  of  every  public  speaker  ;  be  read 
carefully,  consulted  frequently,  and  held  as  worthy  of  faithful 
obedience.  For  lack  of  the  useful  hints  that  here  abound, 
many  men  murder  the  truth  by  their  method  of  presenting  it. " 
— S.  Parkes  Cadman,  D.D.,  Brooklyn,  N.  Y. 

"  It  is  a  book  of  value.      The  selections  are  fine.      It  is  an 
excellent  book  for  college  students." — Wm.  P.  Frye,  Presi- 
dent pro  tern,  of  the  United  States  Senate. 
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How  to   Develop 

Self-Confidence 

in  Speech  and   Manner 

By  GRENVILLE  KLEISER 

jtuthtr  *f"H»w  t*  Sftak  in    Public'1'';  " Hiid  t»  DtvtUf   Ptwtr  and 
TtTitnalitj  in  Sftaking"  ttc. 

The  purpose  of  this  book  is  to  inspire  in  men 
lofty  ideals.  It  is  particularly  for  those  who  daily 
defraud  themselves  because  of  doubt,  fcarthought, 
and  foolish  timidity. 

Thousands  of  persons  are  held  in  physical  and 
mental  bondage,  owing  to  lack  of  self-confidence. 
Distrusting  themselves,  they  live  a  life  of  limited 
effort,  and  at  last  pass  on  without  having  realized 
more  than  a  small  part  of  their  rich  possessions.  It 
is  believed  that  this  book  will  be  of  substantial  serv- 
ice to  those  who  wish  to  rise  above  mediocrity,  and 
who  feel  within  them  something  of  their  divine  in- 
heritance. It  is  commended  with  confidence  to  every 
ambitious  man. 

CONTENTS 

Preliminary  Steps— Building  the  Will — The  Core  of  St3J-Con- 
sciousness — The  Power  of  Right  Thinking — Sources  of  Inspira- 


Preliminary  Steps— Building  the  Will — The  Cure  of  S&l-Con- 
>wer  of  Right  Thinking- 
tion  —Concentration — PhysicafBasis — Finding  Yourself— General 
Habits — The  Man  and  the  Manner — The  Discouraged  Man— Daily 
Steps  in  Self-Culture— Dnagination  and  Initiative — Positive  and 
Negative  Thought — The  Speaking  Voice— Confidence  in  Business 
— Confidence  in  Society — Confidence  in  Public  8peaking — Toward 
the  Heights — Memory  Passages  that  Build  Confidence. 

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How  to 

ARGUE  AND  WIN 

IN  CONVERSATION,  IN  SALESMANSHIP,  IN  COMMITTEE- 
MEETINGS,  IN  JURY  CASES,  IN   THE   PULPIT,  ON 
THE  ROSTRUM,  IN  DEBATING  SOCIETIES. 

By  GRENVILLE  KLEISER 

Author  of  "How  to  Speak  in  Public,'"  etc. 

TN  this  book  will  be  found  definite  suggestions  for  training 
the  mind  in  accurate  thinking  and  in  the  power  of  clear 
and  effective  statement.  It  is  the  outcome  of  many  years 
of  experience  in  teaching  men  "  to  think  on  their  feet." 
The  aim  throughout  is  practical,  and  the  ultimate  end  is  a 
knowledge  of  successful  argumentation. 

CONTENTS 

Introductory— Truth  and  FactB— Clearness  and  Conciseness — The 
Use  of  Words — The  Syllogism— Faults — Personality— The  Lawyer — 
The  Business  Man — The  Preacher— The  Salesman — The  Public 
Speaker— Brief-Drawing— The  Discipline  of  Debate— Tact— Cause 
and  Effect— Reading  Habits —Questions  for  Solution— Specimens  of 
Argumentation— Golden  Rules  in  Argumentation. 

Note  for  Law  Lecture Abraham  Lincoln 

Of  Truth Francis  Bacon 

Of  Practise  and  Habits John  Locke 

Improving  the  Memory Isaac  Watts 

"  Mr.  Kleiser  offers  no  panacea  (as  the  title  might  seem  to  imply). 
Logic  will  not  make  a  dunce  a  philosopher,  neither  will  it  insure 
success  where  success  is  not  deserved.  But  what  he  does  offer 
the  honest  debater  in  this  practical  book,  is  to  put  him  in  possession 
of  those  laws  of  argumentation  which  lie  at  the  bottom  of  sound 
reasoning,  based  on  fact." — Times- Dispatch,  Lichmond,  Va. 

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How  to  Read  and 
Declaim 

▲    OOTTR81S    OP    INSTRUCTION    IN     HEADING     AND     DECLAMATION 

HAVING   AS    ITS    PRIME    OBJECT   THE    CULTIVATION 

OF   TASTE   AND    REFINEMENT 

By  GRENVILLE  KLEISER 

Formerly  Instructor  in  Public  Speaking  at  Yale  Divinity 
School;  A  uthor  of  "How  to  Speak  in  Public,  "  etc. 

This  eminently  practical  book  is  divided 
into  five  parts : 

PART  ONE — Preparatory  Course  :  Twenty  Les- 
sons on  Naturalness,  Distinctness,  Vivacity,  Con- 
fidence, Simplicity,  Deliberateness,  and  kindred 
topics. 

PART  TWO — Advance  Course  :  Twenty  Les- 
sons on  Thought  Values,  Thought  Directions,  Per- 
suasion, Power,  Climax,  etc.,  etc. 

PART  THREE — Articulation  and  Pronunciation. 
PART  FOUR — Gesture  and  Facial  Expression. 
PART  FIVE — The  most  up-to-date  and  popular 
prose  and  poetic  selections  anywhere  to  be  found. 

It  is  a  book  to  beget  intelligent  reading, 
so  as  to  develop  in  the  student  mental 
alertness,  poise,  and  self-confidence. 

12mo,  Cloth.     $1.25,  net;  by  mail,  $1.40 

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ni 


"Tht  Laugh  Trust— Their  Book*' 

HUMOROUS   HITS 

AND    HOW   TO    HOLD    AN   AUDIENCE 

By  GRENVILLE  KLEISER 

Authtr  •/  "if«u»  t»  Sptai  in  Publit"  ttt. 

A  new  collection  of  successful  recitations, 
sketches,  stories,  poems,  monologues.  The  favor- 
ite numbers  of  favorite  authors  and  entertainers. 
The  book  also  contains  practical  advice  on  the 
delivery  of  the  selections.  The  latest  and  best 
book  for  family  reading,  for  teachers,  elocutionists, 
orators,  after-dinner  speakers,  and  actors. 

Mr.  Kleiser  gives  also  some  practical  suggestions  as  to  the 
most  successful  methods  of  delivering  humorous  or  other  selec- 
tions, so  that  they  may  make  the  strongest  impression  upon  an 
audience.  The  book  will  not  only  be  found  to  be  just  what 
teachers,  elocutionists,  actors,  orators,  and  after-dinner  speakers 
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William  Jennings  Bryan 

Revised  and  Arranged  by  Himself 

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Following  Are  the  Titles: 

THE  PEOPLE'S  LAW-A  dis- 
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THE  PRICE  OF  A  SOUL 

THE  VALUE  OF  AN  IDEAL 

THE  PRINCE  OF  PEACE 

MAN 

Reprinted  in  this  form  from  Volume  II  of  Mr. 
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THE  ORIGIN  AND  GROWTH  OF  THE  LAN- 
GUAGE  AND  ITS  LITERATURE 

Essentials  of  English 
Speech  and  Literature 

By  FRANK  H.  VIZETELLY,  Litt.D.,  LL.D. 

Managing  Editor  of  the  Funk  &  Wagnalls  New  Standard 

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Speech. 

An  Appendix  of  the  principal  Authors 
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M